Seal pup hit by vehicle in Nova Scotia being treated at Hope for Wildlife
Seal is underweight and dehydrated, says Hope for Wildlife operator Hope Swinimer
A grey seal pup that was hit by a vehicle on a Nova Scotia road is being treated for serious injuries at a wildlife centre.
The seal, tentatively named Sammy, whimpered as he was carefully placed in a white tub surrounded by fleece blankets. It arrived at Hope for Wildlife in Seaforth early Thursday afternoon after spending the night in a nearby emergency clinic.
Hope Swinimer, who operates Hope for Wildlife, said the marine mammal was found on a road in Pictou County by an RCMP officer late Wednesday.
Swinimer said the 20-day-old furry grey seal pup with dark spots and a long nose has an injured pelvis and is underweight.
"The first thing we'll do is get him rehydrated," said Swinimer, just after gently spilling Sammy into a large tub from his black carrying crate.
"The worst thing you can do is feed an animal as soon as he arrives because food can actually overwhelm them and cause death. So we'll start with some clear hydration electrolytes and get him hydrated every couple of hours."
Rehab could take 4 to 5 months
Sammy waved his head back and forth and moaned as the wildlife workers carefully held him down to give him fluids. The seal, with large black eyes and black whiskers, was to be hosed down and gently cleaned later Thursday.
Swinimer said if he survives, he'll stay at Hope for Wildlife until he's fully rehabilitated — roughly four to five months.
"He'll be here until he gets to be about 40 kilograms," said Swinimer of the seal, who's currently about 12 kilograms.
"He has to be swimming well. He's got to be able to find fish and eat them totally on his own. We have big pools outside so once he's through the critical stage, we'll get him moved out to a bigger unit where he can swim."