Unusual, injured seal pup rescued from Masset

  • Jul. 8, 2015 4:00 p.m.

By Stacey MarpleHaida Gwaii ObserverA week-old harbour seal pup was rescued from the Masset harbour along the highway June 16 and transported to the Vancouver Aquarium for treatment. The pup showed swelling and puncture wounds on the top of his head, believed to have been caused by a predator. The seal is now being tended to by the Marine Mammal Rescue Team at the Vancouver Aquarium. “Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and release,” said Emily Johnstone, who is a part of the crew rehabilitating the seal pup. “He has a unique dark coat which is very rare for this time of year,”  Ms. Johnstone said. The pup, named Jeremy Wotherspoon after the Canadian speed skater and Olympic medalist, might not have a future in speed skating but the aquarium reported he is doing much better than when he arrived. When Jeremy Wotherspoon gains weight and can eat fish on his own, he will be released within 50 kilometers from his original rescue site. He will have to go from his current weight of 8.5 kilograms to 20 kilograms before he will be considered for release. He is now being fed a formula and is showing improvements. Soon he will be introduced to fish and paired up with another pup when his quarantine is over. Ms. Johnstone is adamant that if people find a lone seal pup to leave it be and follow some vital protocol. “Pups spend a good part of their time on shore,” she explained. “There is a chance that the mother won’t come back for the pup if people or animals are around.”It is suggested to stay a good distance away from a seal pup and call the DFO if there are concerns about its safety. The DFO will then work with the aquarium to decide if the pup is in need of rescue. “I understand people have good intentions when dealing with them, but it needs to be dealt with properly,” Ms. Johnstone said. This is the first pup to go to the Vancouver Aquarium from Haida Gwaii in recent memory. Last year the facility released 163 rehabilitated harbour seal pups back into the wild. Maternal separation is the leading reason for the rescue of the young animals. “The pups’ best chance of survival is with their mothers,” Ms. Johnstone said.

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii gets top spot in The World

It was already a nice Christmas present, but Keith Moore was really… Continue reading

McNeill fined again for illegal fishing

A local man with a long history of poaching has been convicted… Continue reading

Painting her way home

Janine Gibbons talks about all she learned illustrating Haida and Tlingit story books

Old Massett taps grassroots for community plan

Over coffee, kitchen tables, and community dinners, Old Massett is taking a… Continue reading

Subsea internet cable to link up Haida Gwaii

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Most Read