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 Taryn R., a veterinary technician at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
Lynx was rescued from White Rock beach and admitted to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre on July 4, 2013. We were first alerted about him by both Kendra from Beach Heroes and Rita from Tourism White Rock who had observed him for several hours under the main pier at the beach. He was lying near the water’s edge, hardly moving and was being attacked by gulls. Several small wounds were visible on his flippers and head.
I (Taryn) travelled to White Rock with one of our volunteers, Rhea, and upon reaching Lynx, it was clear that he was definitely a candidate for rescue. He was underweight, very lethargic, had his eyes closed and hardly moved when we approached him. He was quite weak and I was able to lift him into the carrier without a fight.
Admitted to the Rescue Centre weighing in at just 8.26 kg, Lynx was rather quiet during his first few days on site, but as he slowly gained strength, he came to be known as one of the feistier seals to tube feed and restrain. He gained weight rapidly and developed a healthy level of aggression very early on, which gave Rescue Centre staff quite a challenge as he progressed from formula feeding to eating fish!
Once eating on his own, Lynx progressed quickly, moving out of quarantine and adjusting well to competing with other seal pups for fish in the pre-release pools.
Fifty-one days after his rescue, Lynx was eating well, had achieved the required weight gain and been given a clean bill of health. This all meant he was ready for release, so on August 23, 2013, with the help of the Vancouver Police Department marine unit boat, intern Alexi T. and volunteers Mary-Alice and Renata M., we were able to release Lynx and five other seals (Black Hole, Orion, Little Dipper, Andromeda, and Leo) back into the wild. It was incredibly rewarding to not only be able to bring Lynx in and see him gain strength at the Rescue Centre, but also to be present to experience him climbing out of his carrier and diving back into the ocean.
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.
You can also help us by voting daily for the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Centre during Jamieson Laboratories’ “Call for the Wild!” annual campaign. Visit facebook.com/jamiesonvitamins through September 15 to cast your vote.
To view a list of all the Rescue Centre’s current patients, click here.
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.