Wildlife lovers have been asked to dig deep and donate to a beloved marine park forced into voluntary administration, in a last-ditch effort to keep the business alive.

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park in Coffs Harbour, one of only two facilities that take in and care for injured dolphins in Australia, has called for “urgent” support from the NSW Government to keep the facility open after struggling with financial hardship.

The park has provided rescue and rehabilitation services to marine animals, including dolphins, sea lions and turtles from Sydney to the Gold Coast for over 50 years, but has appointed voluntary administrators to manage the operations and “explore alternative financial and restructuring options.”

Closure of the park will see fifty employees lose their jobs, and hundreds of sea animals lose their “forever” homes in the sanctioned and accredited area.

The park is also the only permanent and fully equipped rescue and rehabilitation centre for sea lions and dolphins in NSW.

In a statement released by the park, managing director Terry Goodall said “going public” with a financial appeal is the last step after attempts to gain assistance from the local, state or federal governments failed.

“By going public, we hope the government will see that we’re at serious risk of closing the marine conservation park and marine wildlife rescue facility and offer support to get us through this tough period,” Mr Goodall said.

“We also hope the community will rally around us with support for a fundraising campaign we’ve launched to continue to provide optimum welfare for the animals in our care and the critical marine wildlife rescue and rehabilitation service for the NSW Coast.”

In social media posts, the park urged supporters to donate through a PayPal link to keep the business alive, with some users sharing they had bookings well into the future.

“Consecutive natural disasters, including bushfires, floods, COVID-19 and more floods, have taken their toll on our organisation,” the page shared.

“The series of RBA interest rate rises is the last straw. With less discretionary income, fewer people visit, and guests spend less.

“Every donation counts, and we’re incredibly grateful for the people and businesses that have already come forward and donated or offered support.”

“We are coming from WA for our homeschooling marine biology camp in September. Here‘s hoping your still open! We’ve donated,” one woman commented on the post.

Mr Goodall urged those who might have visited the park in previous years to consider returning, with a family pass selling for $119.

“If someone’s last visit to Dolphin Marine Conservation Park was one to two years ago, they will be impressed with the changes we’ve made and the incredible connection between our team and animals,” he said.

“A family pass is $119 for two adults and two children for four hours of educational talks, presentations and the opportunity to safely get closer to dolphins and Australian sea lions than anywhere else in Australia.

“With community support, we hope people can continue to experience these unique marine mammals and other marine animals for many more years.”



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By Rahul

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