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Shedd Aquarium rescues aquatic animals from illegal wildlife trade through confiscation efforts | ‘An Ocean on the Lake’ Episode 9

CHICAGO (WLS) — Each animal residing at Shedd Aquarium has a narrative, whether or not they had been rehabilitated after a serious harm or born as a part of a conservation breeding program. Sprinkled all through the displays at Shedd are aquatic animals who had been confiscated and rescued from the unlawful wildlife commerce.

In typical confiscation circumstances at Shedd, native, federal, or worldwide authorities companies contact the aquarium to offer fast medical care and to coordinate long-term placement of rescued animals. Whereas these companies spend years pursuing lawsuits and convictions towards the prison events, medical employees at Shedd are centered on animal welfare.

“Caring for animals is what we do all day, day-after-day,” mentioned Erica Hornbrook, Shedd’s director of animal care and sustainability.

Confiscated animals typically arrive at Shedd in poor medical situation, having handled neglect and cruelty throughout their transportation. Typically, many animals have already died upon arrival.

“Generally we’re pulling via most of what involves our doorstep, typically we would pull via half,” Hornbrook mentioned. “We’re at all times gonna try to save as many (animals) as we probably can.”

Many of the confiscations that go to Shedd are delivered by U.S. Fish & Wildlife, in order that medical employees can triage and deal with the animals earlier than discovering them a snug, everlasting dwelling. Such was the case with a confiscation of 80 Arapaima – fish that develop from just a few inches as hatchlings to 10-foot adults – a number of years in the past.

In some worldwide circumstances of confiscations, Shedd employees will journey overseas to contribute to international conservation efforts. In 2018, Dr. Matt O’Connor traveled to Madagascar after 10,000 radiated tortoises had been found malnourished and saved in a small constructing, ready to be illegally bought.

Alongside native docs in Madagascar, animal specialists and different veterinarians from all over the world, O’Connor helped hold the mortality fee to round 10-percent and save round 9,000 tortoises.

“It is extraordinarily fulfilling to get to go someplace like Madagascar, take the whole lot that you’ve got discovered right here on the aquarium,” mentioned O’Connor, “and apply that to radiated tortoises within the wild to assist their populations.”
‘Confiscation’ is episode 10 of ‘An Ocean On The Lake,’ the multi-part behind-the-scenes collection from ABC 7 Chicago and Shedd Aquarium. This week, ABC7 delves into the work Shedd does in collaboration with native, nationwide, and international governments to fight the unlawful wildlife commerce. Discover each episode on our homepage for “An Ocean On The Lake,” or watch on our ABC 7 Chicago related TV App.

Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.

https://abc7chicago.com/shedd-aquarium-ocean-on-the-lake-series-videos/10882317/

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