This is the first in a series of 4 posts sponsored by Dawn. As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own HAPPY thoughts.
Photo Credit: Susan Goldman
A few weeks back, I had the pleasure to join a small group of bloggers from around the country on what will surely be a day I hope to remember forever. We were brought together by Dawn Dish Soap to find out more about their Dawn Wildlife Program and their partnership with both the International Bird Rescue (IBR), as well as where we spent the majority of our day, the Marine Mammal Center.Image Source: Dawn Dish Soap
How many of you remember watching the coverage from one of the major oil spills where they were finding birds covered in oil? Do you also remember how they use Dawn to clean he oil off he birds?
I have to confess, before this #DawnDayintheWildlife event, that was the extent of my knowledge of Dawn’s involvement with “Wildlife.” After this weekend, I now know that Dawn involvement is huge and that over the past four decades they have donated more than 50 thousand bottles of dish washing liquid to its wildlife partners which in turn has helped to clean more than 75 thousand marine animals in US. Umm, yeah, that’s A LOT of good.
It was in 1978 that the founder of the IBR, Alice Berkner, discovered through a grant, that Dawn was the best at cutting the oil fastest on birds than any other brand. In 1988, Dawn and the IBR began and official partnership and have been partners ever since. In 2006, Dawn also started a partnership with the Marine Mammal Center. Since 2006, Dawn has not only donated soap and product to these partners, they have also invested a total of 4.5 million dollars. This is HUGE for these organization as they are no profit and running on mostly volunteers.The day started at the Marine Mammal Center which is located approximately 30 minutes north of San Francisco. We were were given a behinds the scene tour of the facility which is the largest marine mammal hospital in the world. THE WORLD! WOW! During our tour we learned so much about this state of the art facility that takes in nearly 900 marine mammals so far this year. And by marine mammals, we’re talking sea lions, harbor seals, elephant seals, and some cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). We were shown all aspects of not only how the facility/hospital is run, but all aspects of the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of these hurt and/or sick marine mammals. Animals are rescued for a variety of reasons, including malnourished, maternal separation, trauma, entanglements (nets, fishing line and trash) and human interactions, as well as diseases. Nearly 14% of animals rescued have been impacted by human hazards and interaction such as harassment, entanglements, gun shots, illegal pick-ups and boat strikes.
Our tour guide, Mitch Fong who has been a volunteer for the Marine Mammal Center for 11 years demonstrated a rescue of an animal. So interesting learning that they had to make a lot of the equipment they use because of the size of animals. We all laughed thinking about going up to a 750 elephant seal with a fish net from the local sporting good store. Nope, probably won’t work. The remainder of our time at the center was spent shadowing a volunteer and getting up close with the patients and their pens (hospital rooms) while they are rehabilitated.This was Alexander, the volunteer I shadowed while I was there. Photo Credit: Susan Goldman
I will be getting more in-depth about what he does and my experience shadowing him (cute boots huh?) in the next post. Eeekkk, can’t wait.
The afternoon was spent learning more about the efforts of the International Bird Rescue as well as Dawn Saves Wildlife efforts. So much good happening with these organizations that there doesn’t seem to be enough words I can write to capture the full magnitude.Photo Credit: Susan Goldman
At the end of the day, we got to experience something that it truly a once in a lifetime experience. We were able to witness, and help, in the release of three sea lions back into the wild. This is something the public never gets to witness, unless they happen to be on the beach when it happens. Photo Credit: Susan Goldman
The entire Dawn Day in the Wildlife event was amazing. I went to sleep that day overwhelmed with emotions. Everything from frustration around how the animals are getting hurt to hope that we are raising children filled with compassion and dedication like those volunteers that I had met and shadowed that day. I absolutely can’t wait to share more about my experience.