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July 02, 2012

Meeting Makana, a Rescued Albatross

Modern-day zoos and aquariums must do a great deal to warrant public support. They must educate the public about animal welfare and conservation, they must rescue animals in distress, and, ideally, they must put resources into wildlife protection programs in the field. Gone are the days when it’s enough just to exhibit animals. These institutions should be outspoken advocates for animals and help in the fight to protect them.

Makana, a rescued albatross at Monterey Bay Aquarium
Photo by Fritz Liess
Makana, a rescued albatross at Monterey Bay Aquarium.

This spring, I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, which essentially exhibits sea animals native to the Monterey Bay area. I was able to see its life-saving sea otter rescue efforts and its foresighted, full-court press to urge people to avoid certain seafood, because of the devastating impacts some methods of fishing have on species and ecosystems.

I also had the opportunity to meet Makana, a 6-year-old Laysan albatross from Hawaii. Since Makana can’t be released back to the wild because of a wing injury, her job at the aquarium is to raise awareness about the deadly diet of sea trash that threatens seabirds across the Pacific.

If you don’t think animals are intelligent and feel a connection with people, take a look at this video.

 

P.S. Just yesterday at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed an HSUS-backed law to ban the trade in shark fins.

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