The Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre has its first newborn patient of the season: a premature male harbour seal pup found alone in Prince Rupert.
The institution says the tiny pup’s May 1 rescue is the earliest in the centre’s history.
This year’s theme for rescue names is ocean-themed puns, and the new pup has now been dubbed Dwayne “The Rockfish” Johnson after the former WWE wrestler and action movie star.
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The aquarium says little Dwayne was found with remnants of his umbilical cord still attached and the soft fur of a premature pup. He was picked up after he was spotted apparently abandoned and struggling to get out of the water.
However, the centre says anyone who thinks they’ve found an abandoned pup should call before trying to rescue it themselves.
“This is the start of pupping season in British Columbia so, at this time of year, you’ll sometimes see newborn pups left to rest while their mothers forage for food,” said rescue centre manager Lindsaye Akhurst in a media release.
“The mother will usually come back. We ask those who find a seal pup not to touch it and to keep their pets away. Call us, we’ll assess the animal then decide if a rescue is needed.”
Dwayne joins Jessica Seal, an eight-month-old seal that was shot in the face with birdshot back in February, at the Ocean Wise facility.
The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre says it cares for about 150 animals every year, most of them harbour seals.