Seal-ine Dion’s heart will go on thanks to the rehabilitation she received at the Vancouver Aquarium over the summer. (Leila Riddall photo)

Seal-ine Dion and Tuna Faye make their return to Haida Gwaii

Local seal pups Seal-ine Dion and Tuna Faye arrived home in Masset last week after returning from a summer spent at the Vancouver Aquarium.

The pups were sent to the aquarium for rehabilitation after being abandoned by their mothers. Tuna Faye still had her umbilical cord attached to her when she was discovered.

Tuna Faye took a bit longer to get going, but eventually she followed Seal-ine into the ocean. (Leila Riddall photo)

Kelly Aitken, a fishery officer with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), said a recent flurry of human activity around baby seals led the department to take action.

READ MORE: Leave them alone: Vancouver Aquarium issues warning after several seal pups ‘disturbed’

“It prompted DFO to start putting a lot of signage up, and reminding people that when you go near baby seals, the momma can’t go near the baby seal because the momma sees people.,” Aitken said. “A baby seal that was not an abandoned seal could become an abandoned seal because people get close and they touch them, and they take photos.”

“If someone is unsure, they best thing they can do for a baby seal is to stay away, keep an eye on it, and call it in,” Aitken said.

Seal-ine Dion awaits her return to the sea in Masset. (Leila Riddall photo)

As for Seal-ine and Tuna, they are both doing well after a successful return to the ocean.

“We released them in an inlet near Masset. One of them scooted off right away, and the other one kind of held back,” Aitken said. “Tuna Faye wasn’t quite sure if she wanted to go at first. She was a little shy and stayed close to shore for awhile, but eventually she left.”

Seal-ine and Tuna prepare to return to the ocean. (Leila Riddall photo)

(Shannon Rivest photo)

(Shannon Rivest photo)

(Shannon Rivest photo)

READ MORE: Seal pup named Dwayne ‘The Rockfish’ Johnson rescued from B.C.’s north coast

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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