Rehabilitated  harbour seals are released back into the wild at Crescent Beach Saturday.

Rehabilitated harbour seals are released back into the wild at Crescent Beach Saturday.

Rescued harbour seals released in South Surrey

The release of 11 rehabilitated harbour seals drew a small crowd to Crescent Beach Saturday.

Eleven harbour seal pups rescued from along B.C.’s coastline and rehabilitated were released back into the wild Saturday at Crescent Beach.

“It was a great day,” said Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.

Harbour seals releasedThe volunteer-led event included the release of one pup – dubbed Cassiopeia – that was found on Crescent Beach in August.

Most of the mammals had to be rescued due to dehydration and malnourishment, Akhurst said. Of 66 brought to the rescue centre so far this year, 35 have been nursed back to health and released, 23 remain in care and eight have died.

Akhurst said another pup rescued off of White Rock beach in July was not among those given a new lease on life Saturday. Named Lynx, that youngster was released at the end of September in the Indian Arm area.

Akhurst praised the role volunteers play in the rescue centre’s success. They comprised a sizable number of the more than 100 people who were on-hand for the release, and deserve credit for the extensive work they put in to facilitate the pups’ rehabilitation.

“A lot of the grunt work is done by volunteers,” Akhurst said. “Our program would not be able to survive without our volunteers.”

For more photos from Saturday’s release, visit https://www.facebook.com/vmmrc#!/vammrc