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Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release of Marine Mammals: An Analysis of Current Views and Practices

By D. J. St. Aubin, J. R. Geraci, V. J. Lounsbury

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Stranded marine mammals have long attracted public attention. Those that wash up dead are, for all their value to science, seldom seen by the public as more than curiosities. Animals that are sick, injured, orphaned or abandoned ignite a different response. Generally, public sentiment supports any effort to rescue, treat and return them to sea.

Institutions displaying marine mammals showed an early interest in live-stranded animals as a source of specimens -- in 1948, Marine Studios in St. Augustine, Florida, rescued; a young short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala rnacrorhynchus), the first ever in captivity (Kritzler 1952). Eventually, the public as well as government agencies looked to these institutions for their recognized expertise in marine mammal care and medicine. More recently, facilities have been established for the sole purpose of rehabilitating marine mammals and preparing them for return to the wild.


Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 1996
Issue July 1996
Pages 68
Series NOAA Technical Memorandum
Publisher U.S Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Department National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Language English
Notes This government document was found at the U.S Department of Commerce, FDLP Electronic Collection Archive,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abandonment
  2. Animals in culture
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Health
  5. Marine animals
  6. Physical environment
  7. Rehabilitation
  8. Research
  9. Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation