On the morning of June 28, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre received a call from a concerned citizen named Diane about a small seal pup that was in distress down at the busy government dock in Ladysmith on Vancouver Island.

The pup was seen moving towards people, instead of away from them, and as such was hauled out onto the busy boat ramp with lots of people and boats around. Given the commotion and the young age of the pup, the Rescue Centre began to make arrangements to transport the pup to its facilities, and a flight out of Nanaimo was arranged. Diane was graciously able to supply a carrier to transport the baby seal, but was not able to transport the seal to Nanaimo herself.

Being from the island, I knew I could find someone in the area who was willing and able to drive this pup to Harbour Air in Nanaimo to make his flight to Vancouver. Who’s the first person who came to mind when I needed some help? My mom!

Vancouver Aquarium, Marine Mammal Rescue Centre

Vanadium back up to a stable weight and recovering at the Rescue Centre

I gave her a call and she immediately cancelled her plans for the day to attend to this pup, driving him all the way to Nanaimo in time for his flight.  We let her choose the next name from the periodic table of elements for the pup, and she decided on Vanadium, a hard grey metal, to match the colour of the pup’s light grey lanugo fur.

Admitted at 8.25 kilograms, Vanadium now weighs in at 15.1 kilgrams and has just weaned entirely onto fish. We have our fingers crossed for a full recovery and release sometime this fall.

Vanadium is just one of the over 100 seal pups that make their way to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre each summer in need of care. With a cost of $50 a day to feed each and every seal, donations are greatly appreciated. Learn more about our dedicated staff and their amazing rescue stories by staying up to date on Facebook, Twitter or subscribing to our RSS feed.

This week’s rescue story is by Sion Cahoon, a veterinary technologist from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.


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