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Old Sheets And Pillowcases Urgently Needed for Whale Rescue

Old Sheets And Pillowcases Urgently Needed for Whale Rescue

Spring marks the start of the busy stranding season in New Zealand and whale rescue charity Project Jonah is in desperate need of essential supplies to re-stock their emergency response kits up and down the country.

Pilot whale mass stranding Spirits Bay Northland Sep 2010 Photo credit Alex Simpson Project Jonah

Kimberly Muncaster, CEO of Project Jonah explains, “Our whale rescue trailers are stocked with specialised whale rescue equipment: slings, pontoons, lifting mats, VHF radios, wetsuits, safety vests and more. But everyday items like old sheets and pillowcases also make up part of our critical life-saving kits and we need lots of them for what could be a busy stranding season ahead.”

Whilst specialised equipment can be expensive, some of the things that make a real difference don’t cost anything at all. Old bed sheets, for example, help to keep stranded whales cool and protect their sensitive skin from the sun and wind. Pillowcases make perfect makeshift sandbags and keep whales upright, preventing them from rolling and damaging their fins.

Following a busy stranding season last year, Project Jonah’s stock of sheets and pillowcases are low, “it’s the perfect time to clean out your cupboards and get rid of unwanted bed linen,” says Kimberly.

During the month of October The Body Shop® stores around New Zealand will provide drop-off points for these items.

“We have 27 stores throughout the country so we're a convenient drop-off point for those wanting to donate sheets and pillowcases. It’s really great that a simple act of recycling old sheets can help save lives and we're thrilled to be able to do our bit,” says Ansonia Todd-Smith, Values and Communications Coordinator of The Body Shop New Zealand.

New Zealand has one of the highest stranding rates in the world, with an average of 300 whales and dolphins stranding each year. Last year 344 animals stranded.

“Sadly not all whales can be saved; some are sick, others injured and there are those that simply come on to our shores to die. However, each year healthy whales also strand. Whether it’s due to navigational error, avoiding predators, or responding to the distress calls of other whales, these are the ones that can be saved. Having the right rescue equipment to hand and trained volunteers on standby makes the process of saving these animals a lot easier,” says Kimberly.

In addition to sheets and pillowcases, Project Jonah also needs money to bolster their Emergency Stranding Fund and purchase new rescue equipment. “We desperately need an inflatable rescue boat so that we can get volunteers to isolated beaches and monitor and track refloated whales. Any help the public can give us would be greatly appreciated,” says Kimberly.

To make a donation or find out more go to www.projectjonah.org.nz

Website: www.projectjonah.org.nz
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/projectjonah

Project Jonah has been saving whales since 1974. They work closely with the Department of Conservation, the government agency responsible for managing strandings in New Zealand and rely on volunteers and donations to carry out their life saving work.

Notes to Editor: The Body Shop store Locations:
Albany Don McKinnon Drive, Westfield Albany Shop 211A, AUCKLAND
Bayfair Bayfair Shopping Centre, Shop T102A, Cnr Mt Maunganui & Girven Roads, MT MAUNGANUI
Botany Downs Botany Town Centre, Shop 17A, 588 Chapel Road East Tamaki, AUCKLAND
Capital 280 Lambton Quay WELLINGTON
Cuba Street 63 Cuba Street, WELLINGTON
Dunedin Golden Centre, Shop 26, 251 George Street, DUNEDIN
Glenfield Westfield Shopping Mall, Shop 332A, Cnr Glenfield Rd & Downing St, Glenfield, AUCKLAND
Hamilton Centreplace Shopping Centre, Shop 60, 70 Ward Street, HAMILTON
Lynnmall Lynnmall Shopping Centre, Shop 29, Great North Road New Lynn, AUCKLAND
Manukau City Westfield Shopping Town, S025, Great South Road Manukau, AUCKLAND
Napier 156-162 Emerson Street, NAPIER
Nelson Shop T15, Fashion Island, 223 Hardy Street, NELSON
New Plymouth 90 Devon Street East , NEW PLYMOUTH
Newmarket 241 Broadway, Newmarket, AUCKLAND
Northlands Northlands Shopping Centre, Shop 88, 55 Main North Road, CHRISTCHURCH

Kimberly Muncaster
Project Jonah New Zealand

E. kimberlymuncaster@projectjonah.org.nz
W. www.projectjonah.org.nz
Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/projectjonah

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