Aside from the damage caused on the land, one of the most devastating realisations was that of the local crayfish and paua communities coming under serious threat due to the major coastal uplift. Tens of thousands of sea life was left exposed on the new seabed and so local divers and fishermen quickly worked to save as much marine life as possible and relocated shellfish back to the sea.
One story that got a lot of media attention following the earthquake was that of “Cow Island”, leading three cows to become some of the most famous cattle in the world as they became the global face of the Kaikōura quake. Three cows were left stranded on a small grass island amidst the chaos after the massive tremor. The local farmer lead a rescue effort to save the cows and they now graze peacefully on a lush top paddock on his farm overlooking the Pacific Ocean.