A tiny male seal pup, only a few days old, is the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre’s newest resident.
Aquarium staff named him Timbit and said the tiny seal weighs just over eight kilograms, is covered in the soft fur of a preemie pup and still has remnants of the umbilical cord attached.
The pup, which was underweight and dehydrated, was found by a person in Bella Bella, B.C. and flown to Vancouver for care.
Along with getting hands-on attention from the aquarium’s mammal rescue centre, Timbit is also being fed a nutrient-rich formula five times a day.
“This is the start of pupping season along B.C.’s coast,” said Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
“At this time of year, you’ll sometimes see newborn pups left to rest while their mothers forage for food. The mother will often come back, although unfortunately, not always. We ask those who find a seal pup not to touch it and to keep their pets away. Call us, and we’ll assess the animal.”
The aquarium rescues, rehabilitates and releases more than 100 animals a year, and last year the team rescued 145 animals.
Although it is tempting to touch a stranded or injured animal, the rescue centre advises to not approach it, keep pets away and call the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604-258-7325 for immediate assistance.