The Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre has a new guest — a premature baby seal pup that was rescued by Coquitlam RCMP.
RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin said the animal was found after a man flagged down Mounties on a routine boat patrol in Cosy Cove.
McLaughlin said the distressed animal had been alone for more than a day and is believed to have been abandoned by its mother.
WATCH: Rescued pup “Fort St. James” is believed to have been abandoned by its mother
He said the pup, nicknamed “Fort St. James,” has now been delivered to the aquarium’s facility where staff said it appears to be just one or two days old.
“The pup definitely needed some food and it had a few superficial abrasions,” he said.
“It was in pretty rough shape, but nothing that we don’t think the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre can help out with.”
McLaughlin said it was a rare situation for the officers who responded.
“Of course there’s a lot of police work that requires a really stony face and a strong arm. The fellas who were involved in this particular rescue are exactly the kind of Mounties you picture. And it’s funny that they have a heart just like the rest of us. When they saw this little seal, they really felt they wanted to do something. Yeah, it feels good to be able to help.”
If you do encounter a baby seal that looks like it needs help, here are some tips from the aquarium about how to proceed.
- If you see a seal pup, don’t assume it is abandoned. The mother could be off foraging for food while the pup is resting.
- Keep people away to let the mother come back. Respect that a seal is a wild animal.
- If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604-258-7325.
— With files from Kyle Benning