Cartoon brings much needed awareness

03 September 2008

A cartoon, alerting viewers to the plight of stranded whales, is reaching cult status.  In just four months the short video called Beached Whale has been watched by almost one million people on the popular YouTube website.

Whilst funny, it underlines a serious issue. Strandings happen in New Zealand more than any other place in the world. And without our help these animals will suffer terribly and die.

Over the years Project Jonah trained medics have attended hundreds of standings and saved thousands of lives.  No matter what time of day or how difficult the conditions, we're ready to offer our lifesaving support.

But if a whale stranded on a beach near you - would you know what to do?

If the answer's no, then help isn't far away.  We can give you the knowledge and confidence to take the right steps and provide first aid to these animals in their most desperate hour of need.

So why delay, become a Marine Mammal Medic today.

If you're the first at a stranding

Call DOC: 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) or Project Jonah:  0800 4 WHALE (0800 4 94253) immediately.

Before phoning, make a thorough evalution of the situation. The more information you can pass on to us the better informed our decisions and response will be.

While you're waiting for help to arrive:

  • Keep the stranding site as quiet as possible
  • Keep the whale cool by pouring water gently over its body, paying particular attention to its fins and tail fluke
  • If available, cover the whale with towels or sheets (even seaweed) - keep these wet
  • Depending on the weather, try and create shade or shelter
  • Move any whales lying on their sides into an upright position. Dig a shallow impression alongside the whale and roll it gently upright into the indentation
  • Dig trenches under the whale's flippers to relieve cramping
  • Keep barking dogs away

  • Cover or pour water into the blow hole
  • Cover the whale's eyes
  • Step on, near or over the tail
  • Stand directly in front of the whale's head
  • Pull the whale by its tail
  • Use the fins as levers
  • Shout or make loud noises
  • Drag or roll the whale to water

Click here to find out more.
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