Tue, Jun 25, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Center celebrates latest whale release

SAVING THE WHALES:The Marine Biology & Cetacean Research Center is renowned for its work, but struggles for funding and relies on an army of dedicated volunteers

By Tsai Wen-chu and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

“They have invested a large amount of money to build up their facilities, and are catching up to Taiwan, but their experience in rescue and rehabilitation still lags far behind us,” he said.

The center has organized donation drives in the past, but with disappointing results. This leads Wang and the center’s volunteers to feel that, “in terms of soliciting public donations, rescuing dolphins and whales fares far worse than saving stray dogs.”

For the overall 66-day effort to rehabilitate “A-Gan”, Wang pointed out that the center had to bear much of the expense.

“It costs money to buy boxed meals for volunteers. It also costs money for the rescue vehicles, for the towing and winching machinery, and for the capelin fish to feed the whale,” he said.

“The vehicle used to haul ‘A-Gan’ to sea cost NT$14,000 to rent, and we still do not know how to pay for it,” Wang said.

The volunteers jokingly pointed to the rescued pygmy killer whale.

“He is the guy who’s eaten up all our center’s money,” they said.

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