Coffs Harbour tourist attraction Dolphin Marine Magic relaunched as Dolphin Marine Conservation Park on Monday.
“The new name more closely conveys what the park is about and reflects the original philosophy that drives our wildlife park,” Managing Director Terry Goodall said.
Over the past 50 years, the park teams have rescued and released thousands of animals. In the last two years alone, team members have been called out to assess 65 marine animals in distress. In most of these cases, staff were able to monitor without intervention or treat at the rescue site enabling the animals to continue on their way. About 165 animals received medical attention at the park’s rehabilitation centre. Wildlife patients included 64 birds, 102 turtles, two sharks, one sea snake and a seal.
The idea behind Dolphin Marine Conservation Park was first conceived in 1968 by Stanley (Hec) Goodall and a group of his close friends and supporters when they began as Pet Porpoise Pool Pty Ltd. The marine wildlife park first opened to the public on Boxing Day in 1970 primarily as a rescue, rehabilitation and release operation for local aquatic fauna and wildlife. Over the next 40 years it experienced significant change and in 2008 began operating under the trading name Dolphin Marine Magic. Now, 10 years on and approaching its 50th anniversary at the end of this year, the Pet Porpoise Pool Pty Ltd is paying homage to its roots by relaunching as Dolphin Marine Conservation Park.
Dolphin Marine Conservation Park heralds a new chapter for the wildlife park, one that will proudly promote its rescue and rehabilitation work and the conservation and education programs and informational presentations conducted every day of the year.
The rescue and rehabilitation work will continue in conjunction with the Charitable Trust, Dolphin Marine Rescue & Animal Rehab Trust which has been active under the name Coffs Harbour Animal Rescue Trust since 2014. Dolphin Marine Conservation Park will now work more closely with them and support with resources, a workspace and a location for their wildlife hospital.
The Park is an iconic tourist attraction for Coffs Harbour and a significant revenue generator for the region bringing in millions of dollars each year. Hundreds of thousands of people have passed through the gates and been mesmerised by the animals the park has cared for over the years. Thousands of visitor reviews attest to the special place it holds in their memories.
Dolphin Marine Conservation Park uses a unique combination of up-close animal encounters, exhibits and talks and what’s called “edutaining” presentations to provide visitors with an insight into the lives and behaviours of the animals under their care.
Managing Director, Mr Terry Goodall summed it up, “The work we do helps people to understand better the marine environment and the animals that inhabit it and provides them with more knowledge and hopefully a renewed sensitivity to the world we share with them.”
The new management team at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park are confident that the park’s work is making a real difference. Their commitment to conservation and dedication to research and education includes supporting student projects, thesis work and combined research projects with many distinguished universities. They also pride themselves on strong working relationships with organisations such as NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services and animal rescue groups including WIRES and ORRCA.
Hec Goodall’s nephew, Terry Goodall, has a compelling, personal incentive to ensure that Dolphin Marine Conservation Park continues the vital work it commenced 50 years ago.
“I am proud to carry on Hec’s work and ensure that his dream and legacy continues to prosper and grow. Our goal is to continue to delight and educate visitors but more importantly, build our reputation and capacity as a vital rescue and rehabilitation facility for stranded, injured and sick marine fauna and wildlife. The facility will be expanded under the operation of Dolphin Marine Rescue and Animal Rehab Trust working hand in hand with Dolphin Marine Conservation Park. More details about this exciting initiative will be announced later this year, ” he said.