Dr Chris Brown made a trip to the North Coast, to visit a well known local – Bucky the Bottlenose Dolphin. Bucky, one of the mainstays of the Pet Porpoise Pool Coffs Harbour, has been wowing crowds for decades. Dr Chris visited to check on some suspect lumps in Bucky’s mouth. Thankfully, it seemed like they were relatively minor in nature and able to be treated.Watching the episode brought back so many special memories for me, and made me dig through these boxes to find some photos.
Please click on the images below to see them in more detail.
Somewhere in there are the photos l want......
I have really fond memories of visiting the Pet Porpoise Pool as a child, and these early visits were the start of a lifelong love of the ocean and the animals that live there.
When l was growing up l wanted to be a marine biologist, and during my second year at University in 1998 l completed a summer internship at the Pet Porpoise Pool with Greg Pickering. It was a real treat to see Greg on Saturday night’s episode of Bondi Vet.
During my internship l got to spend a lot of time with the Pet Porpoise Pool dolphins – including Bucky, and as a farewell present Dan and l were allowed to go for a swim with him (yes we have been together for that long!).
Swimming and playing with Bucky, will be an experience l will never forget.
Bucky was found stranded with his mother back in 1970 near Nambucca. Unable to be returned to the wild, Bucky is now the oldest dolphin at the Pet Porpoise Pool. I knew Bucky was the oldest, but was surprised to hear last night that he is now 42 years old!
After the episode I got thinking about what a great ambassador Bucky has been for dolphins and animals in general. I know not everyone is comfortable with the idea of animals such as bottlenose dolphins in captivity, but l do think there is a place for it, particularly when an animal can’t be returned to the wild or where they were born in captivity.
I think it was the wonderful Sir David Attenborough who said that people will only want to conserve and protect what they understand and care about. And that’s where places like the Pet Porpoise Pool play a vital role in conservation. I distinctly remember during my internship how people reacted to the dolphins. At that time you were allowed to interact with the dolphins by feeding them, touching them, shaking fins….and it’s that close contact and interaction that captivates people. It allows people to interact with species they wouldn’t normally get to get to see close up.
Now l realise that the dolphin l visited as a child, was probably the same dolphin l swam with - Bucky. 42 years old, and no doubt thousands of children later, what a great ambassador Bucky has been for his species.