Dr. Martin Haulena — Veterinarian

Point Roberts, WA

Dr. Martin Haulena, or Dr. Marty, is one of the world’s leading experts in marine mammals and is the head veterinarian at the Vancouver Aquarium and the Director of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.

I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Marty for nearly five years now. During this time, Dr. Marty has performed a number of incredible procedures and advances in veterinary medicine. Just some of his accomplishments include: saving Wally, the rescued sea otter who was blinded after being shot in the face; performing the first ever blood transfusion and nephrectomy (kidney removal) of another sea otter who had likely been struck by a boat; saving a stranded four week old false killer whale calf named Chester; mapping the beluga whale genome, and so many others.

One of Dr. Marty’s most innovative accomplishments is a new anesthetic darting protocol that is used to help animals in the wild. It is unique in that if the animal falls in the water, they can still breathe and won’t drown. Over 400 sea lions along British Columbia’s coast are entangled in marine debris, like ghost fishing gear and packing straps. Without help, these animals die slow, painful deaths. To date, Dr. Marty has saved over 20 sea lions by removing these nooses and treating their wounds.

Not only is he a brilliant veterinarian and researcher, Dr. Marty wears his heart on his sleeve for the animals in his care. They are like his family. Animal conservation is simply better because of him.