4 newborn seal pups rescued in B.C.
All harbour seal pups were less than 5 days old and had become separated from their mothers
Four newborn seal pups - some with their umbilical cords still attached - are being cared for by the Vancouver Aquarium, after being rescued from B.C. shores on Tuesday.
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B.C. resident Mark Levagood and his daughter saw one of the exhausted seal pups struggling to get onto a rock on Ogden Point in Victoria.
The male pup, which has been named Tantalum by volunteers, was airlifted to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, where it is now recovering.
Manager Lindsaye Akhurst said the seal pup is doing fairly well, but had been through a lot before being rescued.
"The seal came in really thin, dehydrated, obviously hadn't been eating from its mom for a while and had been hanging around a really busy area...and the mom was nowhere to be found," said Akhurst.
Another of the pups, a male seal now named Nobellium, was found off Hadden Beach, an off-leash dog park in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood. Again, the mother was nowhere to be seen.
"We did notice that there was no mom around and the animal was getting quite lethargic, beaching itself at that point, and had some sort of sight issues," said Akhurst.
"We went down to monitor the seal and found out it was really skinny and it did need to be rescued."
A female seal pup, now named Oxygen, was also rescued in the Mosquito Creek area of North Vancouver and another male seal pup, now named Molybdenum, was rescued from Gibsons, on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast.
Akhurst said 41 seal pups have been rescued over the past month, as pups often become separated from their mothers at this time of year.
"Sometimes it's first-time moms and they don't know what to do. Sometimes it is a tidal change," said Akhurst.
"The pups do go on the beaches to rest while the mom goes out and forages. When she comes back, maybe the pups have moved, maybe the tide has come in or out so she is unable to find them."
Akhurst advises anyone who sees a marine mammal in distress to stay back, keep people and pets away and call the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604-258-SEAL (7325).