On July 29, Lonne Clark was out for a morning standup paddleboard session when she noticed a baby seal all alone out near a buoy in the ocean. At first glance she was excited to spot some of Vancouver’s wildlife and continued on her way.

Seal pup, Vancouver Aquarium

Aluminum floating out near in a buoy.

Worried for the safety of the seal, she wandered a bit closer to the pup so she could check that it was still breathing. The pup was breathing, but Lonne noticed that it still had its umbilical cord attached and became worried that this baby seal had been abandoned by its mother on the beach.

“I called the Vancouver Aquarium and immediately was referred to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.” The Rescue Centre asked Lonne to send some photos and keep an eye on the pup if possible for the rest of the day, to give mom adequate time to return.

Lonne was more than happy to oblige, sending over photos of the baby seal and keeping watch via her binoculars all day. “I learned it’s not uncommon for a mom to bring her pup up to the beach while she goes off to forage.”

Aluminum washed up on the beach in low tide.

Aluminum washed up on the beach in low tide.

Unfortunately the day rolled on and mom did not return. When morning came, the seal began attracting the attention of passerby’s and at one point was actually picked up by someone and moved from his resting spot. It was at that point that the Rescue Team was immediately dispatched to admit the pup into care.

Aluminum or “Amy” to Lonne is in the stabilization process at the Rescue Centre and hopefully after a few months of care will be able to be released back to the wild.

“The people I dealt with on the phone, everyone was amazing. “What a valuable resource the Aquarium is for the public. “

If you or someone you know spots a seal in distress, please stay a safe distance away and call 604-258-SEAL (7325). A big thank you to Lonne and everyone involved in helping to bring Aluminum into the Rescue Centre!

Other recent rescue of the week stories include Oxygen from Mosquito Creek Marina and Vanadium from Vancouver Island.

For live updates on the seals in our care visit the Marine Mammal Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @VancouverAqua.

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