More often than not, as human beings, our first reaction when faced with a suffering animal is to try and aid it. However, it seems best to leave this job for those who have special training in such matters.
Just recently, it was made public that a dead porpoise (i.e. a marine mammal quite similar to dolphins) which washed up in Maine this January was carrying a highly dangerous bacteria, Brucella, known to cause significant health issues for humans.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention explains how said bacteria may lead to symptoms such as fever, sweats,
headaches and weakness.
In some cases, the persons who somehow got infected might end up suffering of infections to the brain, bone, heart, liver or spleen.
As one can easily imagine, this means that the people who handled the animal really dodged a bullet, seeing how they somehow did not get infected.
According to Our Amazing Planet
, this incident goes to show that, regardless of how cute some marine animals may seem, one must never forget that they are wild creatures that may be carrying diseases, and therefore should only be dealt with by those with proper training.
A CDC representative insisted on making it as clear as possible that, “Persons who handle marine mammals should be educated on the potential for infection associated with their activities and the precautions necessary to avoid being exposed to infectious agents”.
He also added, “Failure to use primary protection to avoid exposure necessitates using more costly and time-consuming secondary strategies.”
It is important to keep this in mind especially if one has plans to volunteer in helping various environmental organizations.
Lending a helping hand to the natural world and the creatures living in it is indeed a praise-worthy decision, but one must never forget to also keep a close eye on personal health and whatever might threaten it.