Thanks to a tremendous collaborative team effort, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is rehabilitating a young, adult male, harbour porpoise that was rescued yesterday off the shore of the Songhees Nation (Maple Bank) in Esquimalt.
A call was first placed into Fisheries and Oceans Canada at 4:30 p.m. yesterday by a member of the Songhees Nation. Desiree Holmes had found a harbour porpoise bleeding near the tail fluke. The stranded harbour porpoise wasn’t able to swim anymore and had beached itself.
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre team worked with volunteers and staff from other wildlife organizations and was able to quickly assess the situation. With the help of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre, the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC), Salt Spring Marina, Sooke Coastal Explorations, marine biologist Anna Hall and many volunteers, the porpoise – later named Theodore – was transported to Vancouver and arrived at the Rescue Centre at 3 a.m. this morning.
Theodore’s condition is grave, but we are cautiously optimistic at this time. He does have wounds on the ventral aspect of his body (abdomen) and is currently being supported by a specially made sling to support him in the water. This morning, he has showed a slight interest in fish, and is being fed every 90 minutes around-the-clock with supplementary fluids being added to his diet.
Today, Rescue Centre staff will be doing further tests with Dr. Chelsea Anderson. Dr. Anderson recently joined the Vancouver Aquarium to assist staff veterinarian, Dr. Martin Haulena. She will be treating the wounds that Theodore sustained from being stranded. Rescue Centre staff will also be doing further diagnostics and performing x-rays and ultrasounds to determine his overall health.
In 2011, Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre rescued over 150 stranded marine mammals. If you see a stranded animal, please call the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604.258.SEAL (7325) for immediate assistance.