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Once a marine mammal patient has been deemed healthy and competent, it's time for them to return to the wild. Release days are incredibly rewarding for the staff and volunteers who have worked hard to help a marine mammal recuperate. The animals are taken to various release sites that are carefully selected by the Marine Mammal Rescue and Rehabilitation team. Release locations are usually sheltered, calm bays or coves, where newly released animals can take some time to readjust to life in the wild.
We've established criteria to ensure that any marine mammals being released into wild populations have the best possible chance of long-term survival. Marine mammal patients receive a thorough medical examination to ensure that they're clinically healthy and free from disease. They must also be at a satisfactory weight for their species. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is the authority that makes the final decision on whether an animal can be released.
Before their release back into the wild some marine mammals are outfitted with satellite-linked transmitters, which will provide valuable data to our veterinary team, including the animal’s post-release travel patterns and progress. These transmitters are providing valuable data about the travel patterns and progress of these rescued animals.
We have been involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of marine mammals since 1960. Over the decades we have rescued, rehabilitated and successfully released thousands of animals, including harbour seals, California sea lions, Steller sea lions, Northern fur seals, elephant seals, sea turtles, killer whales and harbour porpoise.