Abu Dhabi: The region’s first marine wildlife rescue ambulances have just been launched in Abu Dhabi.
An initiative by the Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue Centre Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), it is dedicated to swift response and rescue operations for marine wildlife, supervised by EAD, across the UAE.
The largest research, rescue, rehabilitation, return centre in the region, The Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue Centre spans nearly 9,000 square metres and features state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure, a rescue clinic and veterinary hospital, along with the newest addition of two marine wildlife rescue ambulances.
Rob Yordi, General Curator of SeaWorld Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, said: “We are thrilled to announce the launch of our dedicated marine animal rescue ambulances and helpline, representing a significant leap forward in our commitment to marine life conservation. This initiative is a crucial stride towards safeguarding our region’s precious marine life and preserving the delicate balance of our ecosystem. These resources will ensure timely and specialised assistance for distressed animals, reinforcing our dedication to their wellbeing.”
Legacy in marine animal rescue
Ahmed Al Hashmi, Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD, said: “It is important to recognise the importance of collaboration when it comes to the conservation and rescue of wildlife. By joining forces with the Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue Centre and tapping into their expertise and resources, combined with the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi’s years of local knowledge and conservation programmes and research, we will be able to create a powerful synergy.
"Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue Centre’s ambulance capabilities, will add to the current rescue programme led by us to not only make the rescue and conservation efforts more efficient, but also extend the reach of our conservation initiatives to a wider level. Together, we can protect and preserve our precious environment and its inhabitants for generations to come.”
Drawing on SeaWorld’s legacy in marine animal rescue, The Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue Centre brings nearly 60 years of experience to the UAE and the wider region, reinforcing its position within one of the largest marine animal rescue networks in the world with over 40,000 rescues globally.
“The cutting-edge marine life rescue ambulances, a game-changer in animal rescue, have been designed to cater to a wide range of marine creatures, from birds to marine mammals. What sets them apart is their remarkable adaptability, allowing us to transport animals with the utmost care and precision,” Yordi added.
The ambulances are intentionally kept spacious, without excessive built-in equipment. This deliberate design choice ensures versatility, enabling the rescue of various animal species without size constraints. Large animals like dolphins and dugongs can be safely accommodated as they may move around during transport, minimising the risk of injury.
To enhance adaptability, the vehicles carry specialised animal-specific equipment that is tailored to the needs of each rescue mission. This includes dolphin and dugong stretchers, water sprayers, pre-filled “Go bags” containing essential items like towels, tubes, funnels, hydration equipment, and gloves. The rescue teams also bring emergency response kits equipped with stabilising equipment. The vehicles also feature a removable foam lining, providing crucial support and comfort to animals during transport. This simplicity in design ensures the safety and well-being of the precious marine inhabitants.
When contacted for assistance, the team of marine wildlife rescue experts from both EAD and the Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue Centre will first assess the situation, come up with a rescue plan tailored to the type of animal that is in distress. Once the plan is communicated, the ambulance is equipped and dispatched to the rescue location to further assess the animal’s condition and initial steps of care. Once the course of care is determined, the marine life experts at EAD and the Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue Centre will determine if the animal needs immediate attention or transportation to the center.
The marine wildlife rescue ambulances are available 24/7 to respond when needed within the UAE.
To contact the emergency helpline, call 800-555