Save a seal: Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre needs your help

Jun 8 2020, 8:50 am

Seal pups need your help.

The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, the only marine rescue centre of its kind in Canada, is in danger of not reopening its doors this year, for the first time in its 60 year history, possibly stranding hundreds of vulnerable marine animals.

With the closing of the Vancouver Aquarium, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, funds that normally go to support programs like the Rescue Centre have been erased.

When Ocean Wise reached out to Daily Hive, we wanted to help make a difference.

So, today, on World Oceans Day, we are proud to announce a unique joint effort to raise $125,000, by allowing supporters to “Adopt” or “Name” a seal pup!

To adopt or name yours, visit the Rescue Centre website.

Daily Hive

With seal pupping season fast approaching, a time that annually sees 100-200 seal pups in urgent need of medical care, the Centre is calling for public support.

As the cost of rescuing, caring, feeding and releasing a single seal pup during its average 10-12 week stay at the Rescue Centre is approximately $3,000, base-level operating costs are $320,000. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and private donors have already committed $195,000. But $125,000 is still needed to reopen the hospital and conduct animal rescues for the rest of 2020.

While fundraising campaigns, like mask sales, have been successful, the funds raised have only scratched the surface of the care and feeding costs of animals for the balance of this year in the Aquarium itself.

If adequate funds are raised, the Centre will reopen immediately, under COVID-19 protocols to protect the animals and care teams. In normal years, the Centre is also supported by some 300 volunteers. But, under COVID-19, it is unknown if the volunteer program will continue.

In 2019 alone, Aquarium visitors donated a total of $220,000 to the SOS, Save our Seals, donation program, so the Centre is hopeful that the public will once again help.

“Every donation, no matter what size, will help support the care of the estimated 100-plus seals, sea lions and other wild marine animal patients we help every year,” said Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.

“But we are hoping that people will get excited about the prospect of naming a specific seal pup, and participating in it’s eventual release! It could be a gift for a special someone, a group fundraising project, or a meaningful corporate sponsorship.”

To encourage schools and other groups to fundraise to “Name a Seal Pup” together, the Centre has set up the ability to fundraise as “teams,” with each donor able to receive their own individual tax receipt. So, truly, anyone can name a seal pup.

These are tumultuous times, where so many need the world’s collective help, and where so many important issues need to be addressed for the wellbeing of our families, friends, and communities. We hope simply that this becomes one of the many issues that our community bands together to address and save.

The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre has saved thousands of ocean animals over the years. Please help us save them and the animals that depend on them. Please help us raise awareness about this amazing Centre, and spread the word of their urgent need. #SaveOurSealsDH

To make a donation to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, to ‘Adopt a Seal’ or to ‘Name a Seal Pup’ visit rescue.ocean.org.