News

Students help rescue marine life

In the second semester of Shelby Loos’ freshman year, a manatee and her calves became stranded off the coast of South Florida.

Loos, along with other members of the University of Miami Marine Mammal Stranding Team, (MMST) were called to help.

While watching a veterinarian from the Miami Seaquarium help the calves, Loos said she came to a realization.

“Right then, it kind of clicked with me,” said Loos, now a senior and the president MMST. “I always knew that I wanted to work with marine mammals, but I didn’t know to what capacity. After that, I realized I wanted to be a veterinarian.”

The organization’s main role is to assist in rescuing animals that have become stranded on Florida’s coast.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), between 2001 and 2009, there were 51,649 marine mammals that stranded in the United States.

“There’s really no other school that has a stranding team like we do and it’s such a unique opportunity,” said Loos.

About 20 members of the group traveled over the weekend to SeaWorld Orlando to learn how larger organizations rehabilitate animals.

“It was absolutely amazing,” said Lauren Simonitis, the team’s treasurer. “I’ve been there a ton of times before, but I’ve never seen the backstage tour.”

In addition to a behind-the-scenes tours, the trip included a check-in on a whale that was stranded in May along with 44 others near Key Largo. Members of MMST were the first people to arrive on the scene.

Some students helped care for the whales over the summer by taking blood samples and watching veterinarians work.

“A lot of people know about SeaWorld’s show animals, but they don’t get to see how good they are with rehabilitation,” said Loos.

Simonitis said that the club had seen videos of one of the whales’ physical therapy.

“We got to see her in a stable environment, which was great,” she said.

The team plans to visit the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in March to learn more about rehabilitation.

February 23, 2012

Reporters

Kevin Sands


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami running back Mark Walton was rolling — until he got rolled on, or stepped on. Wa ...

University of Miami safety Sheldrick Redwine got to wear the gaudy (but beautiful to Canes and their ...

For those concerned about the apparent on-field struggles of graduate transfer Dee Delaney, an All-A ...

This week’s Top 25 college-affiliated football polls, released Sunday afternoon, agreed on how to ta ...

A few quick thoughts (or second thoughts) after 14th-ranked UM’s 52-30 win against Toledo on Saturda ...

UM students fan out across South Florida to help local neighborhoods rebound from the impacts of Hur ...

Classes resume on the Coral Gables campus after the removal of 4 million pounds of landscape debris. ...

Students living in residential housing are returning to campus and classes with renewed resolve. ...

UM’s student-run ’Canes Emergency Response Team puts their training into action to assist with recov ...

UM students recount how they rode out the storm called Hurricane Irma. ...

The University of Miami's football game at Florida State on Oct. 7 will kick off at 3:30 p.m. E ...

Walton rushes for career-high 204 yards and Rosier has four touchdowns in Miami's comeback vict ...

The University of Miami volleyball team outlasted Virginia, 3-2, in Atlantic Coast Conference action ...

Junior golfer Dewi Weber highlighted second round action for the University of Miami women's go ...

The Miami Hurricanes swimming team wrapped up its opening weekend of competition at the All-Florida ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.