WATCH: A northern fur seal pup is treated at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre after being rescued on Jan. 28. Video from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
A northern fur seal pup is being cared for at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre after employees at a salmon farm saw her swimming irregularly near Hardwicke Island on Monday.
According to Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, the northern fur seal was unable to dive and floating sideways when employees at the Mowi salmon farm rescued her, contacted Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and took it to Campbell River. The pup was flown from Campbell River to Vancouver on a flight donated by Pacific Coastal Airlines.
The seal, dubbed Mo, is estimated to be about seven months old and Emily Johnson, assistant manager at the rescue centre, said she is very small for her age.
Meet Mo, a 7 month old fur seal pup, rescued off Hardwicke Island yesterday. She arrived at #VanAqua’s Rescue Centre after being observed swimming irregularly and unable to dive. Dehydrated and underweight, Mo is undergoing examinations and tube feedings until she’s stabilized. pic.twitter.com/SZ9YGVPGzX
— Vancouver Aquarium (@vanaqua) January 29, 2019
“She’s dehydrated and severely underweight, which indicates she is failing to thrive after being weaned, but she’s feisty, which is a hopeful sign,” Johnson said in a release.
Once her condition has stabilized, the veterinary team plans to do a thorough physical exam, within the next day or so.
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre last rescued, rehabilitated and released a northern fur seal male pup in 2017.
The northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) has been assessed as threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) but is not yet under the Species at Risk Act. Their range extends throughout the Pacific Rim from Japan to the Channel Islands of California. There are six established rookery sites in the north Pacific region where northern fur seals mate, give birth and nurse their young.
The four- to five-month breeding season is followed by a seven- to eight-month pelagic foraging phase, where the animals spend their time feeding mainly in offshore waters. The waters of British Columbia are considered an important foraging area; the largest numbers occur in waters off B.C. from January through to June, approximately 20 to 150?kilometres offshore.
The species does not have an established rookery in Canada but they may have before the maritime fur trade.