Follow along with Kaouk, the rescued and released Steller sea lion
A male Steller sea lion was brought to the Vancouver Aquraium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre (MMR) on December 18, 2010. He was found the day prior, wandering around a trailer park in Port Alice, BC over 300 metres away from the ocean. Concerned citizens of the trailer park called Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Officer Greg Plummer came to assess the situation. The rescue centre was then called and pictures of the animal were sent to allow the staff to be able to evaluate the sea lion. It was noted by staff veterinarian Dr. Haulena that the animal looked underweight and dehydrated, and because of the unusual behavior of the animal, he felt that the sea lion should be brought into the rescue centre for more of an evaluation. Arrangements were made with DFO to collect and house the animal over night, so he could be on the first plane to Vancouver in the am via Pacific Coast Airlines.
Once at the centre, “Kaouk” (as named by Greg Plummer) settled in nicely and was examined by staff. Despite being underweight and dehydrated, he seemed in fairly decent condition and was started on a diet of herring, which was slowly increased over time. As his herring amounts increased, so did his activity level and subsequently his waist line did as well. He ate very well from his first meal to his last at MMR, over doubling his weight from 50 kg, to over 110 kg! Once at a releasable weight and health, it was decided by DFO and Aquarium staff that he was happy and healthy enough to return to the wild. On March 17, 2011 he did just that and was released off the West Coast of Vancouver Island in Barley Sound.
Before he was released, Kaouk was outfitted with a satellite tag to be able to monitor his whereabouts. You too can monitor his daily activity on:
Kaouk is the first Steller sea lion to be released from MMR and the first animal to be released from MMR outfitted with a satellite tracker. A big Thank you to Fisheries and Oceans Canada for your support and supplying the satellite and VHF tracking system for Kaouk.
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Released on March 17, 2011 at Toquart Bay, British Columbia
Update: April 15
Here is a map showing in red where Kaouk has been traveling. He has been hauling out on a regular basis at Mara Rocks (the largest and only year-round Steller haulout in Barkley Sound) and at Wouwer Island (a winter haulout occupied by Steller and California sea lions mainly outside of the May-August breeding season). He appears to be making regular foraging trips throughout Barkley Sound, and has been frequenting some of the areas where we’ve had reports of forage fish and sea lion activity.