The baby harbour seal abandoned by its mother in Cowichan Bay earlier this month is doing well at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
The animal was taken there after passersby on the beach noticed it was underweight, high and dry and baking in the hot sun.
Dubbed “Queen Mary” the pup was admitted to the rescue centre after spending a few days at the Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre on Salt Spring Island.
“We had Queen Mary admitted on Aug. 4,” confirmed Emily Johnson, assistant manager of the MMRC. “IWNCC provided short term care and stabilization and then they sent her to us. They already had her well on the way to being rehydrated and getting her some nutrients and things like that.”
Just eight kilograms when she arrived at the centre — that’s two thirds of the normal birth weight for the coast.
“She was very small but she didn’t have any external wounds,” Johnson said. “We think at some point she bit her tongue because she had a little puncture wound on her tongue but that’s not giving her any trouble.”
Five times each day Queen Mary is receiving a special souped-up milk replacement, complete with salmon oil and vitamins to mimic her mother’s milk. Soon she’ll be weened onto fish.
“She’s already 10.5 kilos and she’s doing really well,” Johnson said.
Queen Mary needs to reach 20 kilograms before she’s eligible to be released back into the wild.