After more than two months of intense around-the-clock care at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, Theo, a juvenile harbour porpoise that was rescued on July 24, off the shore of the Songhees Nation (Maple Bank) in Esquimalt, died last night.
Unfortunately, as with most of the stranded animals that arrive to the Rescue Centre, Theo came to the Rescue Centre in really bad shape. Only about 10 per cent of stranded cetaceans that are brought to rehabilitation centres survive. Despite our very best efforts, he did not pull through.
Rescue Centre staff and volunteers contributed over 5,000 hours to care for Theo over the span of 71 days. Because of his grave condition upon arrival, staff and volunteers supported his body in a pool of water around-the-clock until he was ready to be moved into a special, volunteer-made sling. Rescue Centre staff and volunteers are heartbroken that Theo did not make it.
After more than two months of care and treatment, we had hoped that he would regain his strength so we could release him back to the wild. That said, we knew that the chances of his recovery were slim. A special thank you goes to everyone who was involved in caring for Theo, especially our dedicated volunteers who worked through the night for the past 71 days.
The hope is that results from the necropsy will help contribute to the limited body of knowledge available on harbour porpoises so future stranded cetaceans may benefit.