No, he’s not the Easter Bunny, but here at Te Papa we’re just happy that Hemi the Hector’s dolphin made it in time for Easter.
Hemi is the star of our new interactive game in Whales Tohorä, Dolphin Danger!
Visit over Easter and help Hemi navigate his way through several life-threatening situations to the safety of the marine reserve. Watch out for the shark!
It’s a fun game, but the message is a serious one. New Zealand is home to the world’s rarest marine dolphin species – the Hector’s dolphin and it’s even rarer relative, the North Island Maui’s dolphin. There may be only 100 or so Maui’s dolphins left.
Unless we try harder to keep them safe, New Zealand could become the first country in the world to knowingly allow a marine dolphin to become extinct!
Dolphins get caught and drown in set nets. This kind of fishing is a major threat to the survival of our Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins. Fishing regulations are now in place and some marine mammal reserves have been set up, but dolphins still get caught.
We may criticise other countries, such as Japan, for their whaling activities but there’s more we can do ‘at home’ to protect our own endangered marine mammals.