Each week this summer, a new animal rescued by the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, presented by Port Metro Vancouver, will be featured on this blog. Stay tuned for more updates!
This week’s rescue story is courtesy of Shanie F., a veterinary technician at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
Aries is a robust male seal pup that was admitted to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Center on July 15, 2013. He was picked up by a member of the public who thought he had been abandoned by his mother, but when he arrived at the centre he weighed a healthy 10.4 kg, was very feisty and was crying for his mom. Unfortunately, this well-intentioned rescuer skipped a few key steps.
Each year, the Vancouver Aquarium makes every effort to educate the general public about normal behaviors of harbour seals and their pups. British Columbia has a vast coastline and busy beaches, and it isn’t abnormal for beachgoers to observe harbour seals, young and old, lying on the beaches or hanging around in shallow waters. Oftentimes, mother seals leave their pups alone while they forage, so precautions should be taken to avoid separating a mom and her newborn pup.
Unfortunate situations like Aries’ are a good reason to familiarize yourself with what actions to take when you spot a seal in B.C. Always remember to:
1. Stay back
2. Keep people and pets away
3. Call the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604-258-SEAL (7325)
A knowledgeable staff member will answer your questions and assess the animal’s behavior. You might even be asked to send us a picture so we can have a better idea of its body condition.
To view a list of all the Rescue Centre’s current patients, click here.
As a self-supporting, non-profit organization, the Vancouver Aquarium does not receive ongoing funds to operate its Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, but relies on community support to continue its work. To help us care for the hundreds of marine mammals we rescue and rehabilitate each year, please donate today.
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, presented by Port Metro Vancouver and supported by Teekay Shipping, is grateful for the support of its community partners.
Photo credit: Vancouver Aquarium.