VIDEO: Giving the gifts of whale snot, prosthetic eyes and formula

Snot samples are collected from humpback whales by flying a small drone near their blower

Stuck on Christmas gift ideas? Ocean Wise has a few suggestions.

From whale snot to treats for rescued sea otters, the conservation organization is offering a way for gift-givers to turn a holiday gift into a donation for animals being treated at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre and Open Water Research Station.

Launching ahead of the holiday season, the online shop offers $10 prosthetic fish eyes to $124 boating trips.

Some of the items are then collected by the scientists.

READ MORE: Northern fur seal pup spotted near boats recovering at Vancouver Aquarium

READ MORE: Rescued otter pup hangs out while in care

Snot samples, for example, are collected from humpback whales by flying a small drone above their blowhole and catching the mucus that is projected during each exhalation. Each sample is tested by researches to better detect various whale diseases and how to treat them.

Meanwhile, gift-givers who make a purchase at the online store can send an e-card to a recipient with information about how their gift is being used for an animal’s rehabilitation.

“This is a time of year when people are being asked for a lot,” Jeremy Douglas, vice-president of development at Ocean Wise said in a statement Wednesday. “We want to make donating fun, part of holiday gift-giving, and directly connected to where the money goes.”


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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