The Vancouver Aquarium has rescued 50 stranded seal pups so far this year, and they’re expecting dozens more throughout the summer.
“Stranding season” is the term used to describe the period of time from May to the start of October where seal pups are stranded en masse.
“These are seal pups that are usually less than five days old, so they’ve been separated from their moms for a variety of different reasons,” Marine Mammal Rescue Centre manager Lindsaye Akhurst tells Daily Hive. “Tidal change is a big one – the pups spend a large portion of their time on land and the moms go out and forage. The tide goes out and the pup’s still at high tide.”
Here are a few of the adorable pups who currently call the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre home:
The majority of the pups are admitted mid-July through mid-August. If you see a pup that you think might be stranded, know that isn’t always the case.
“A lot of these pups are just laying there or they’re waiting for their moms to come back – they’re just resting on land until the mom can bring them back into the water,” says Akhurst.”
“We also ask the public to look out in the water to see if they see any adult seals. Moms aren’t going to go too, too far,” she adds.
It’s important to keep a safe distance from the pups, says Akhurst, since it can deter mothers from coming back into the area to retrieve their babies.
The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre rescues and rehabilitates over 100 animals each year with a goal of releasing them all back into the wild. If you find a stranded marine mammal, call 604-258-SEAL (7325). You can also donate to help fund their new animal hospital by clicking here.