A trip down memory lane for Dr Harry

Dr Harry Cooper at The Entrance

Filming a segment for television show Better Homes and Gardens at The Entrance recently was a trip down memory lane for Dr Harry Cooper.

The TV vet, remembered for regular appearances on shows such as Burke’s Backyard, Talk to the Animals and his own Harry’s Practice, has been presenting a segment of Better Homes and gardens for almost 20 years.

He is also an animal welfare advocate and public speaker.

While on the Coast, he inspected some sea birds in care and attended the Pelican Experience run by Marine Wildlife Rescue Central Coast.

“It was so nice to be back at The Entrance,” he said.

“When I was a young bloke we used to go to the Central Coast on holidays.

“We would rent a house at Long Jetty, about two streets back from the beach.

“In those days it was safe for us kids to swim there and we would fish off the jetty.”

Cooper also caught a bus to The Entrance regularly, where an older angler taught him to fish for blackfish.

“I’ve travelled through on a couple of occasions since but it was lovely to actually visit the old boatshed at The Entrance,” he said.

The revamped Pelican Experience includes an education session on dangers to sealife

“There was still a sense of familiarity from 70 years ago.

“It brought back wonderful memories of my childhood.

“It’s still a great spot – a terrific place for families.”

Cooper said the Pelican Experience had undergone some changes.

“Since COVID things have changed,” he said.

“I was really impressed with the demonstration on the dangers of fishing gear (to sealife).

“Many inexperienced fishermen think it’s quicker to cut a fishing line than untangle it and that’s why we get so many birds caught up in fishing gear.

“It’s great to educate people on this.

“While we were there, Marine Wildlife Rescue got a distress call regarding an injured pelican holding its wing in a peculiar way and we went along.

“Volunteers managed to catch the pelican and there was a fish hook under its wing.

“It hadn’t broken the skin, but was caught up in the very thick down under the wing.

“They were lucky to remove it in time; if it had penetrated the skin the bird wouldn’t have been able to fly.”

Cooper was full of praise for the volunteers at Marine Wildlife Rescue.

“They are dedicated to looking after seabirds and do a fantastic job,” he said.

“I loved my time at The Entrance – the people were wonderful.”

Cooper rounded off his visit by stopping in to Jilliby to film with the alpacas at Iris Lodge.

Terry Collins

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