It’s only the beginning of August and already our Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, presented by Port Metro Vancouver, has rescued 100 harbour seal pups from the waters off the coast of British Columbia.
Seal number 100, Praseodymium or “Pr” for short, was found around the waters of Mosquito Creek in North Vancouver by Steve Davis, boat master for Port Metro Vancouver and colleague Mark James. As both Steve and Mark come across seals on a regular basis for their work and have assisted the Rescue Centre in the past they know the signs of distress to look for in young seals.
They spotted Pr on a derelict float they were about to deposit into a debris bag. Although there were adult seals in the area, they saw that Pr was quite emaciated and decided to give the Rescue Centre a call. Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, asked Steve if he could stop by the Centre to pick up practicum student Talia Smith, a biology graduate, to assess and assist in the rescue.
With Talia’s help, Steve and Mark safely removed Pr from the water and transported him back to the Rescue Centre for assessment and medical treatment. So far Pr is adjusting well to his new surroundings and is being tube fed formula to help get his weight up to a stable level.
In a typical summer our Rescue Centre sees anywhere from 100 to 150 seals with an all-time record of 174 seals in back in 2005. As August is the peak time for rescues, the number of seals is expected to climb a little higher before the newborn season is over. This week will mark the beginning of releases back into the wild for those seals that have been given a clean bill of health by the veterinary staff. With a little luck and the dedicated care of our Rescue Centre staff, Pr will be released sometime this fall. Thank you to the Port Metro staff for spotting this seal in distress and their ongoing support of the Rescue Centre. If you spot a marine animal in distress, stay a safe distance away and call 604-258-SEAL (7325).
Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, presented by Port Metro Vancouver and supported by Teekay Shipping, is a non-profit hospital for sick, injured or orphaned marine mammals. With a cost of $50 a day to feed each and every seal, donations are greatly appreciated.