A harbour seal pup rescued off White Rock beach this month is recovering at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
Dubbed Lynx, the pup was “thin and dehydrated” when picked up, Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of the rescue centre, said Friday.
“He is gaining weight… very active, bright and alert, and seems to be on his way to hopefully recovering.”
Yvonne Dawydiak, with Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society, said Lynx was rescued July 4 from near the White Rock pier.
He was “in obvious distress, listless and injured, and had been on the beach since the previous day,” Dawydiak told Peace Arch News by email.
Akhurst said Kendra Moore, a volunteer with the society’s Beach Hero program, and Tourism White Rock staff helped facilitate the rescue by guiding the marine team to Lynx and ensuring curious beach visitors kept their distance.
She is hopeful Lynx will be ready to return to his natural environment. Typically, rescued seals stay at the centre for about two months.
Lynx is one of 12 pups currently being cared for at the centre, which takes in up to 150 of the infant mammals every year.
Dawydiak said Lynx’s rescue is an opportunity to remind the public of what to do when they come across a seemingly abandoned seal pup.
Oftentimes, such pups are simply waiting for their mother to return from foraging and should be left alone. The parent may be gone for as long as 12 hours.
If a pup is spotted on its own for more than 24 hours, or is in obvious distress, citizens are inform to keep their distance and advise centre officials by calling 604-258-7325 (SEAL).
“They are wild animals,” Akhurst said.
“They can bite and scratch.”
More information on what to do is also online, at www.vanaqua.org
Dawydiak noted that Moore also located a deceased adult harbour seal on the same day, and reported it to Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s marine mammal incident hotline, at 1-800-465-4336.