For the past decade, SeaDoc has hosted veterinary interns each summer to help run the Marine Mammal Stranding Network in collaboration with The Whale Museum. This summer’s interns were Alexa Dickson and Tamsen Polley, who have since returned to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine for their third year. They did a great job and we loved having them around, so we took a moment to ask about their experience on Orcas before they dive headlong into their next year of vet school.
The SeaDoc Society, in partnership with the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network, a program of The Whale Museum, was recently awarded another one-year federal grant through the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue and Assistance Program.
This is the 14th time we have received this important grant. Funds will enable the Stranding Network to continue field response during the 2018 season, which includes preventing the harassment of live stranded animals, transporting injured or harassed animals to rehabilitation centers, and collecting critical data from dead stranded animals.
SeaDoc will help diagnose disease and other causes of marine mammal strandings, including identification of diseases and parasites that can affect marine mammals, domestic animals and even people. Examples of diseases diagnosed in the past include brucellosis, fungal infections caused by Cryptococcus gattii, and the presence of harmful algal toxins in stranded marine mammals.
Banner photo courtesy of The Whale Museum.
Every year, the SeaDoc Society hosts interns for the summer in collaboration with The Whale Museum and the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network. In this video, two of our interns respond to a call about a harbor seal pup on Orcas Island. One of our 2016 interns, Megan Mangini, a student at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, explains how the response network works and what she gained from her experience as a summer intern. SeaDoc is part of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, which is part of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Big thanks to the Hoglund family for supporting the SeaDoc Society and generously donating lodging to the interns each summer. We deeply appreciate it! Stay tuned for some darting practice footage from our 2017 interns next month!
Note: The pup in the video above was re-sighted in the wild once after being tagged, but specifics beyond that are unknown.