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Australian Marine Wildlife Research & Rescue Organisation – AMWRRO

Australian Marine Wildlife Research & Rescue Organisation (AMWRRO), providing a rescue and rehabilitation service for our incredibly unique Australian marine wildlife species.

Found an injured marine animal?

Sperm Whale Samples taken by AMWRRO

One of two whales that had their teeth hacked out with a hacksaw

One of two whales that had their teeth hacked out with a hacksaw

Samples being taken by AMWRRO crew

Samples being taken by AMWRRO crew

Today a crew from AMWRRO including expert Veterinary Pathologist from the AMWRRO Scientific Board Dr Lucy Woolford attended the Ardrossan beach (Parara) where the seven Sperm Whales beached and died yesterday. 

Unfortunately two of the animals had already been subject to senseless vandalism by having several of their teeth cut out with a hacksaw. 

AMWRRO crew collected important samples that will be tested for suspect viruses that could have caused these animals to beach in the first instance.  These test results will be made available once the results have been cleared by the AMWRRO Scientific Board and provided to the Department for Environment Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR).

Of the seven animals beached five were sampled due to inaccessible locations and all of which were adult female animals.   

Unfortunately one of which was a lactating female – meaning there is a very real chance that a young animal is without mother and if not weaned may wash up dead in the near future.  

One report that these animals were subject to propeller strikes had been proven incorrect by AMWRRO as they were in fact teeth raking marks – not propeller strike injuries.  

For those wanting to attend and photograph these animals, please remember that there is a 50m no approach zone that should be adhered to by all and this includes pets as these animals could carry viruses that could potentially be transmitted to mammals ( e.g. dogs and humans!)

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Ghost net kills juvenile fur seal and washes ashore on Adelaide Metro Beach

Net found on Semaphore Beach

Net found on Semaphore Beach

Dead fur seal found entangled by its head

Dead fur seal found entangled by its head

AMWRRO receives reports from across Australia of ghost nets float at sea with dead marine animals seen entangled in them – but never has there been one retrieved along Adelaide’s metro beaches with dead marine mammals still entangled.

AMWRRO Crew attended Semaphore beach early this morning and retrieved a net spanning over 80sqm and weighing in at approximately 60kg. Unfortunately this net claimed at least one life that we know of – a young fur seal that was entangled by its head was removed from the net once back at AMWRRO.

This shocking find is a timely reminder of how sensitive our oceans are, especially when something as large as this is found floating around our sensitive coast lines. Several government departments were notified but were not interested in the net or other findings – of which can not be made public as yet.

If nets are found floating at sea please contact your local authority first before attempting to retrieve it from the ocean. These nets can carry hundreds of dead animals around the oceans and can weigh in at several hundred tons; any attempt to attach ghost nets to your recreational vessel can lead to catastrophe and is not recommended.

AMWRRO can also be contacted on 8262 5452 or by email @ info@amwrro.org.au

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Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) visits South Australian shores all the way from the Antarctic pack-ice region.

Young Leopard seal resting on the beach

Young Leopard seal resting on the beach – named snappy!

AMWRRO is currently coordinating the care and protection of a young Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) in the states southern  region (named Snappy).

This young animal has several small scars and two open wounds on its face and neck region.  AMWRRO crew have attended and will be monitoring the animal closely over the next few days and flippers crossed the animal will return to the Antarctic waters on its own accord once rested; a very rare animal to have in our waters considering the pack-ice environment in which they normally live in the Antarctic region. 

Please remember there is a 30m no approach zone for any seal on the beach and Leopard seals have a large mouth with very large teeth and they aren’t afraid to use them.

AMWRRO is currently working with the Department for Environment Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and will monitor the animal closely over the next few days. If treatment is required the animal may require onsite treatment or risk being euthanased if brought into care.

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