Orphaned harbour seal pups

Orphaned harbour seal pups
Full NameIsland Wildlife Rescue
Phone250-537-0777

Thousands of harbour seal pups are orphaned each summer in British Columbia. Less than one hundred of them are reported and rescued each year in the whole Province. If you discover a seal pup alone who is vocalizing, sucking on inappropriate objects like a boat hull or a drifting log, if it is desperately trying to climb onto a dock or the back of a boat, if it is injured or lethargic and easily approached, it may be an orphan.

Prematurely born pups can be abandoned by their mothers. Predation on seals by transient killer whales is at a record high around the Gulf Islands. Seal pups get attacked by birds and injured by propellers. Their mothers can end up entangled in fishing nets or get shot. Some females, like in any other species, are undernourished or inexperienced. As a result, many harbour seal pups end up orphans and the one you will find might very well be one of them.

Female harbour seals raise their pups in rookeries, which, in our area, are isolated rocks or small islands offshore, away from land predators. They gather in groups with many other females specifically to ensure the safety of their pups. A seal rookery is akin to a nursery on high alert, guarded by vigilant mothers. Female harbour seals do not nurse their pups on the busy beaches of Salt Spring island, nor would they ever take their newborn pup away from their safe rookery to leave it unattended in a populated area.

If you find a seal pup alone, call Island Wildlife right away so that this animal's condition can be assessed accurately by trained professionals with more than 25 years of expertise caring for harbour seal pups in the Gulf Islands. Don't walk away without calling because you have heard that it is probably okay. Waiting to report it could endanger the pup's life, especially if it is starving. Your phone call could be this pup's only chance of survival.

What to do if you see a seal pup alone?
If you see a pup alone: don't touch it, keep people and dogs away and report it immediately. Call Island Wildlife at 250-537-0777 (24/7). It is the informed thing to do, and chances are, you will be saving a life.

July 16, 2024 11:30 PM

33 days, 14 hours

Listing ID 178668a06b24377c
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Island Wildlife

Listing Owner Member Since: April 21, 2011

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