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Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre Admits First Seal Pup patient of Season

VANCOUVER, BC, May 24, 2022 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre (MMR) has admitted its first patient of the 2022 pupping season, a newly born harbour seal pup the team has named Timbit.

Timbit was found at Blackie Spit in South Surrey and was initially attended to by Surrey RCMP following a call from a concerned member of the public. The MMR team were quickly on the scene immediately determining that the pup was weak, and required transport to the MMR .

Timbit has a white fur coat called lanugo that is typical for pups born early in the season.  He has been tube fed five times a day and given supplementary fluid therapy since arriving.  Because of human interference or separation from their mothers, these seal pups require the care of the specialized staff at MMR. The centre's goal is to rescue, rehabilitate and release these animals back to the wild.

Every year a new naming theme is chosen for the seal pups admitted to the centre. This year, members of the rescue centre voted for "Sweet Treats" to be the theme. The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is Canada's only dedicated marine mammal rescue facility and one of the largest in the world. The Centre has rescued and rehabilitated marine mammals for over 60 years.

The facility allows for on-site rehabilitation of seals, sea lions, sea otters, sea turtles and small cetaceans, such as harbour porpoises. The Centre also responds to off-site marine mammal emergencies including disentangling sea lions along the coast.  

"Harbour seal pupping season is upon us once again along British Columbia's coastline. This is an exciting time of year to see marine mammals in the wild. However, we want to remind the public not to disturb them," said Marine Mammal Rescue Centre Manager Lindsaye Akhurst. She points out that in recent years there has been an alarming number of animals that have been admitted to MMR due to human interaction and interference.

"It is important to remember that it is normal for harbour seal moms to leave their pups on the beach to rest while they forage elsewhere. The best thing you can do if you are observing a seal pup you suspect needs assistance is to keep people and pets back and to call MMR."  said Akhurst. 

Members of the public are encouraged to call MMR at 604. 258.SEAL(7325) for seal pups or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada incident reporting hotline at 1-800-465-4336 for any other marine mammal incidences.

"We are proud of our 60-year rescue program ? rescuing over 150 animals every year with over 80 percent surviving to be returned to coastal waters" said Vancouver Aquarium Executive Director Clint Wright.

Photo and Videos attached.

About Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre 

The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is a hospital for sick, injured, or orphaned marine mammals. The Rescue Centre rescues stranded marine mammals and rehabilitates them for release back into their natural habitat. www.mmrpatients.org

About Vancouver Aquarium 

Since opening in 1956, the Vancouver Aquarium has connected more than 40 million people from around the world to our oceans and inspired them to take action to address key threats. Located in Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium is home to hundreds of incredible species. The Vancouver Aquarium is a fully accredited member of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), and Humane Conservation Certified by American Humane.

SOURCE Vancouver Aquarium

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