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 Claire P., a veterinary technician at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
Kathryn and her family were visiting their property on remote Gallery Bay in Desolation Sound off the northern end of the Sunshine Coast. One evening as she was strolling on the beach, she heard the cries of a seal pup. When the pup saw Kathryn, he swam ashore and began to follow her. Thinking this was odd, she returned to the area the following day and was again met by the hungry pup. Kathryn had not seen any adult seals in the area so she knew something was wrong. Determined to help, she discussed this lost little soul with her family. Unfortunately, they thought it best to let nature take its course – a decision which Katherine humbly accepted, but that didn’t stop her from looking out for the pup.
Over the next couple of days she helplessly watched as the pup grew thinner and thinner, and his cries weaker and weaker. As his cries faded away, her resolve grew. She decided to take matters into her own hands and, with the help of her boyfriend in the United States, she contacted us at the Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. This was a very wise decision, as the knowledgeable staff and interns assessed the animal’s behavior and explained that this pup had likely been separated from its mother and would die without human intervention. But Kathryn’s family still did not want to play any part in the rescue of this seal pup. Luckily, the local fire marshal heard about the situation and contacted his friend Norm, a kindhearted helicopter pilot who often volunteers his services to animals in need.
But another obstacle stood in the way: where would the helicopter land in this remote forested area? Luckily, the fire marshal knew of a large orchard were Norm could land safely. Thanks to the collaboration of the rescuers, volunteers, staff and interns, the seal pup, now named Nix, was delivered safely to the Rescue Centre. Nix was brought in at the right time, as he was underweight, hungry and dehydrated. He is resting quietly and will be provided with the best care a marine mammal can receive from our dedicated staff, interns and volunteers.
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.
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.