South African Ocean Animals and Activities

Judy Mann

Keeping us all connected during #StayatHomeSA

The SAAMBR team has produced a brand-new series of South African Ocean Animal Stories and Activities, you can find them and a list of other on-line resources on our new page.

South Africa is an interesting place – we have been through very dark days, we have struggled with visible and invisible forces, we have experienced sadness and euphoria. Sometimes living in South Africa feels like we live on a roller coaster, our highs are great and our lows are deep, much of the time we just hold on and try to enjoy the ride. We live in a country blessed with incredible natural beauty, amazing biodiversity and a rich cultural heritage, for most of us this is the only home we know. For better or for worse, this is it.

We and the rest of the world are now confronted by an enemy we cannot see, it is invisible, and it is deadly, it spreads fast and it kills indiscriminately. For some the fact that it is invisible make it easier to dismiss, for others it makes it more frightening, it makes us fear connecting to others, it makes us fear touching surfaces, even fear touching our face. We are all sharing some form of anxiety, ranging from terror to mild disquiet. Some of us have lost so much already, many of us will still experience that loss. For some the loss will be manageable, for others it will change things forever.

Our leaders have made brave and bold decisions. We are all called on to support those decisions. We are fighting a war against an invisible enemy – and each one of us can let the enemy win, or we can help protect ourselves and our families and our communities and together play a role in fighting the enemy. We all know what we need to do.

At SAAMBR we have three priorities, our staff, our animals and our supporters. Rest assured that our staff and our animals are being well cared for. Our animals will continue to receive the same level of care that they receive all year round. We have divided our staff into teams to ensure that they are safe, while they care for our animals.

We also want to stay connected to you, our supporters near and far. At SAAMBR our mission is to Inspire People to Care for the Ocean. We usually do this through our aquarium, through our education programmes, through participation in meetings where we share our science, through publications and reports. Some of this will continue, our scientists are hard at work at home continuing with their research. Some of our work will have to happen remotely. We still feel a strong sense of community with you, our supporters and we want to continue to support you.

Thousands of parents are now finding themselves with their children all day, every day, and many of us are not equipped to handle that. We want to give you support and some tools to help you. Our dedicated educators, communicators and animal care staff are used to connecting people to the ocean through the animals. We are now learning a whole new way to do this – remotely.

Please keep an eye on our social media as we share with you our new resources and as we work out new ways to keep you connected to the ocean during this strange and difficult time. We are your partners as we navigate our way. We want to keep you connected to our animals and our mission. None of us has the road map of how to navigate a pandemic – but if we are kind and considerate, we support each other and remain calm, we will get through this – united in our common care for each other, the ocean and this planet we call home.