Elmwood Students Have a Whale of a Time

Published Wednesday, 10th July 2013 in Study at SRUC news

Elmwood Animal Care students qualify as Marine Animal Medics

A group of SRUC Animal Care students based at Elmwood Campus have recently qualified as Marine Animal Medics.

The HNC and HND students took to the beach for the one day course; St Andrew’s beach to be exact. There they were taught how to identify species of whales, dolphins and seals and also learned about their anatomy, health assessment and administering first aid. During the day the students practiced the handling and transportation of seal pups and this was followed by the refloating of a life size pilot whale model using inflatable pontoons.

Now fully qualified Marine Mammal Medics the students could be called to attend a marine animal stranding to provide first aid, assist in refloating whales and dolphins and help prevent mass strandings.

Jane Stirling, Animal Care lecturer, said: “It was an immensely stimulating and valuable day for everyone involved. We are all looking forward to receiving our first call up and being first on the beach to attend to these magnificent animals. It will be a huge privilege to be in the position of helping to save such fantastic creatures. I hope to see many of my former students on the beach in the coming years.”

The new medics may also bump into another group of SRUC employees at a stranding as SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, a Division of SRUC, runs the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme. This scheme collects and postmortems deceased marine mammals and aims to collate, analyse and report data for all cetacean, marine turtle and basking shark strandings. Every year over 300 marine mammals are stranded around the coast of Scotland and about a third of those cases are investigated by the project.

For more information about the animal care courses available at SRUC please visit the Elmwood Campus homepage; courses include NC Animal Care, HNC Animal Care and HND Animal Care.

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