After receiving months of care at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, presented by Port Metro Vancouver, seven rehabilitated harbour seal pups recently made their way down to the waters of Howe Sound as the rescue team cheered on. Five of the rescued seal pups had been outfitted with satellite-linked transmitters, which will provide valuable data to the Aquarium’s veterinary team, including the seal pups’ post-release travel patterns and progress.
Follow the seal pups here.
Earlier this year, the Vancouver Aquarium made history by successfully releasing a rehabilitated adult harbour porpoise, known as Levi, with a satellite-linked transmitter attached to his dorsal fin. The battery in Levi’s tag lasted for 70 days and provided a groundbreaking opportunity to study numerous aspects of harbour porpoise activity in the wild for over two months.
In 2012, the Aquarium tracked the movements of five rehabilitated seal pups to determine how far they travelled from their release location. The animals were released in a quiet, unpopulated area, and the data indicated a wide dispersal. This year, the rescue team released the seal pups in a more populated location, and their satellite-linked tags will reveal whether or not they remain in the same area.
The information gleaned from the transmitters can help the rescue team analyze their rehabilitation practices and adjust them, if necessary. The factors that affect the survival of rescued, rehabilitated and released animals are still being understood.
The Vancouver Aquarium asks the public to report marine mammals that appear to be in distress by contacting its Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604 258 SEAL (7325).
Donations made to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre directly support the veterinary team’s ability to rescue distressed marine animals and provide the necessary medical care that allows the Rescue Centre to safely release rehabilitated animals. You can provide your support by donating today.
Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre
The Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, presented by Port Metro Vancouver and supported by Teekay Shipping, is a hospital for sick, injured or orphaned marine mammals. The Rescue Centre rescues stranded marine mammals and rehabilitates them for release back into their natural habitat. Donate to the Rescue Centre at www.vanaqua.org/mmr