December 14, 2017 4:56 pm
Updated: December 14, 2017 8:46 pm

Eight seal pups released at Porteau Cove after being nursed to health

Thurs. Dec. 14: Several seal pups, saved and nursed back to health by staff at the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mannal Rescue Centre, are heading home to their natural habitat.

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The Vancouver Aquarium released eight seal pups back into the wild Thursday morning, just in time for Christmas.

The eight seal pups, who were released at Porteau Cove, were among 202 other animals that were nursed back to health through the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre program this year.

It’s been the busiest year the program has ever seen.

The pups were rescued when they were five days old or younger, and they’re finally healthy enough to be released.

“Most of the seals, when they come in, they’re emaciated, dehydrated and they’ve been separated from their moms for a variety of different reasons. So they’re really in need of care at that point,” said rescue centre manager Lindsaye Akhurst.

READ MORE: Alberta rescue overwhelmed with 20% increase in wild animals

“They’ll go out, probably explore around for the first little while and then disperse off in different directions.”

Casey Chiu, one of the volunteers released Gremlin, one of the seals, on Thursday morning

He had a message for him as he went on his way.

“Go out, go explore, have fun. Hopefully he’s going to do well in the wild,” Chiu said.

“I’m really excited that they get to go home for Christmas.”

PHOTOS: Seal pups being released on Thursday morning.

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