It's up the Oregon Coast a ways from Brookings, and it might be a place you have visited, now the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport is the center of attention for a national television show.
Animal Planet’s 'Crikey! It’s the Irwins' will feature the Oregon Coast Aquarium in an upcoming episode at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23.
The non-profit Aquarium in Newport, invited the Irwin family to learn first-hand about the extensive animal care that the AZA-accredited facility provides.
The Animal Planet film crew documented Bindi Irwin assisting Aquarium husbandry staff in veterinary procedures and health checks for a wide variety of animals.
“Boots,” a harbor seal at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, is especially loved by visitors for her friendly demeanor, according to the Coast Aquarium administers. She found her home at the Aquarium after stranding on a beach in Mexico in 1988 as a pup.
Aquarium officials said the 31-year-old Boots is living much longer than she would in the wild. As a result, she needs increasingly specialized care to treat geriatric-related issues like arthritis. On the episode, Bindi works with Oregon Coast Aquarium Curator of Mammals, Brittany Blades, and Oregon Coast Aquarium Head Veterinarian, Dr. Dan Lewer, to provide a health check, laser therapy and chiropractic care to Boots.
“It was great to meet and share information about animal care with Bindi,” Blades said. “She clearly has a good animal sense about her, and Boots responded very well to her, even interacting with her in the water after the exam.
Blades said that Irwin is also considering using laser therapy at the Australia Zoo.
"So I think it was great for her to get this experience," Blades said.
Laser therapy is just one example of the state-of-the-art medical care that the Aquarium provides for its animals. During her day at the Aquarium, Erwin also helps conduct an ultrasound on “Dotty,” the female dogshark, to check for pups and assists in annual health checks on a giant Pacific octopus and Japanese spider crab.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is committed to providing the best quality care for its animals, which serve as ambassadors to the public for their wild counterparts. Restaurant quality seafood diets, highly trained staff, animal enrichment, and functional, natural habitats all contribute to this commitment, which is highlighted on the Crikey! episode. The Aquarium also partners with Willamette Veterinary Hospital to provide highly specialized veterinary care, including surgery, eastern medicine, preventative care and physical and laser therapy.
Terri Irwin, a Eugene, Oregon native, has visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium with her family for many years. The Irwins currently live in Australia where they own the Australia Zoo, a global zoological destination and world leader in wildlife conservation.
“The entire Oregon Coast Aquarium team was ecstatic to host the Irwin family and Animal Planet and share our passion for wildlife," Oregon Coast Aquarium Communications and Marketing Manager Sally Compton said. "I think for many of us, it realized a lifelong dream. These relationships are essential because even from opposite sides of the world, we can work together to learn best practices for animal care. Ultimately, we share the same mission – to educate people about wildlife and protect the planet.”
The Oregon Coast episode is slated to be broadcast at 5 p.m. Nov. 23 on the Animal Planet Network. You can also see it after it airs on www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/crikey-its-the-irwins.