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 Jenelle H., a veterinary technician at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
We received a call from the Burnaby SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) about a seal that had been observed for 24 hours with no sign of its mother returning. The pup also had many visible wounds on its hind flippers so he was transported to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre for treatment.
Once at the Rescue Center, we were able to start fluid therapy for him as well as tube feed him Revibe (an electrolyte solution). Polaris, as the pup is now named, was very lethargic and had large amounts of yellow/green nasal discharge, which is a key symptom of a lung worm infection (lung worm infections are common in seals who have eaten fish in the wild before). We started him on our “lungworm protocol” to combat the infection. After two days of treatment, the nasal discharge was no longer present and his condition appeared to be much improved.
On Polaris’s second day at the center, we offered him fish, for which he opened his mouth willingly, and also indicated to us that he had eaten fish in the wild. Within just three days of being at the Rescue Center, Polaris was able to eat fish on his own. He is now on the road to a full recovery and will hopefully be released back into his natural habitat soon.
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.