British Columbia

Vancouver Aquarium opens marine mammal hospital building

Prior to the opening of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre hospital facility, animal procedures and surgeries took place in a garden shed.

Prior to Marine Mammal Rescue Centre hospital facility, animal surgeries took place in garden shed

Vancouver Aquarium opens marine mammal hospital

CBC News Vancouver at 6

4 years ago
0:23
The new facility has an x-ray machine, exam room and a surgery room 0:23

The Vancouver Aquarium has opened a new hospital building for sick and injured marine mammals. 

On Wednesday, it unveiled the facility at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre aimed at rehabilitating sick, injured and orphaned animals.

"The hospital has been a long time coming," said Dr. Martin Haulena, head veterinarian and the centre's director.

Seal pup, Marshmallow Fu, was rescued in July 2016. She was anesthetized and fitted with a satellite-linked transmitter using animal-safe glue at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre hospital opening on Jan. 11, 2017. (Simon Charland-Faucher/CBC)

Until the opening of the facility, he says medical procedures and surgeries took place in a garden shed dubbed the "med shed".

"When the med shed came here, five or six years ago, we thought it was the greatest med shed in the world compared to working out in the rain but it is small, cramped, cold — particularly not conducive to more sterile procedures," he said.

This new space is a far cry from a garden storage space.

It houses an exam and surgical room which is equipped with an endoscope and X-ray.

In a news  release, the aquarium says the entire cost of the $544,000 facility was funded by private donations.

The tag on rescued seal pup Marshmallow Fu will stay attached to her for about six months.

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