This week’s rescue story is courtesy of Linda Aylesworth, a reporter for Global B.C.
On the morning of July 15, Linda was alerted by her neighbour at the Mosquito Creek Marina in North Vancouver about a seal pup in distress. The seal had been spotted the night before and was heard vocalizing overnight. Linda made her way down to the dock and found the baby seal suckling on her boat and trying desperately to get out of the water and onto dry land.
Upon seeing the animal in distress Linda called the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre to respond. Once the Rescue Team was onsite they discovered that the female pup was only a few days old as she still had her umbilical cord attached. Given the pup’s young age it was unlikely that the mother would have purposely left the seal unattended for so long. The seal pup was also underweight and lethargic from thrashing about in the water and in need of food and rehydration.
Once back at the Rescue Centre, the team attempted to rehydrate Oxygen with fluids under her skin, which proved a more difficult task than usual due to her feisty nature. Oxygen is now in the stabilization process and being tube fed five times a day to help get her weight back up to a normal reading for a seal pup her age.
The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre sees over 150 rescued seal pups each summer. If you come across a seal or other marine animal in distress stay a safe distance away and call the Rescue Centre at 604-258-SEAL (7325). Be sure to keep other people and pets away from the animal to give the mother a chance to return.
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. To support the ongoing efforts of our Rescue Centre, please donate today.