Record Numbers Of Marine Rescue Callouts In Victoria
Untangling fur seals in Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay is among a record number of callouts to Zoos Victoria's marine wildlife response unit for help in the past year.
The organisation's AGL Marine Response Unit responded to 391 reports in the 12-months to the end of February, marking a 43 per cent increase on the previous year.
Almost 190 wild marine animals have already been rescued by the team since July 1 and taken to Melbourne Zoo's veterinary hospital for treatment or helped at sea.
Unit coordinator Mark Keenan said on Wednesday summer was always the busiest for the group as extra people were out, so more likely to see animals in distress and call.
"We've seen a lot of entanglements this year and we've been fortunate enough to be able to successfully assist animals including seals, penguins, swans and a variety of other seabirds," Mr Keenan said on Wednesday of one of the biggest issues for marine animals.
"Thankfully we've had some really wonderful successes, notably the disentanglement of three fur seals in Port Phillip Bay over December and January."
The team even saved a Pacific Black duck on Monday after it had a plastic ring around its head, and later released back into the wild after treatment.
The unit launched in 2013 and is the only dedicated marine unit to respond to calls for the assistance of seals, turtles, dolphins and other marine wildlife in Victorian waters.