Two harbour seal pups that were rescued after being found emaciated off the coast of Vancouver Island have been rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
The pups were rescued earlier this summer — Pegasus, a female, was discovered near Sointula, while Titan, a male, was found abandoned by his mother in Port Alice.
Both seal pups were taken to the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre to be rehabilitated. There, they received intensive care from specialists and volunteers.
Centre manager Lindsaye Akhurst said the animals have put on a lot of weight.
"They've been with us at the centre for over three and a half months total, and in that time span they've gained probably four times the amount from when they first came in," she said.
"[They've had] lots of care from our volunteers and our staff. Also, a lot of food went into them and conditioning."
Both pups were released close to where the aquarium believes they were born: Pegasus at Storey's Beach, near the Port Hardy airport, and Titan in Port Alice.
Akhurst said the aquarium has learned that it's important to release the pups close to where they were born.
"This is where they come from. They are possibly familiar with the area, and also there's a bit of a genetic difference between the guys that are up here and the ones in Vancouver," she said.
She also said the pups' chances of survival are good.
"We've given them fish, we've given them live fish, we've given them a chance in our facility to be able to survive, and hopefully they've learned those skills for out in the wild," she said.
The two seal pups were last seen exploring their new homes.