Featured Image Credit: Alan Holyoak
By Alice Morris
Police in Coquitlam, British Columbia rescued a lucky seal pup earlier this month after it had been abandoned by its mother.
A man discovered the newborn seal in Belcarra’s Cozy Cove on June 14th. Believing it to be in trouble, he alerted local police, who delivered the pup to the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Center.
Cpl. Michael McLaughlin said that, although officers don’t often rescue wild animals, they handled the situation extremely well.
“Fortunately, our officers have a little bit of familiarity and knew the seal was in trouble,” he said. “We made sure it was safe, put it in a little Rubbermaid tub and took it to the experts.”
“Of course there’s a lot of police work that requires a really stony face and a strong arm,” McLaughlin said of the rescue mission. “The fellas who were involved in this particular rescue are exactly the kind of Mounties you picture. And it’s funny that they have a heart just like the rest of us. When they saw this little seal, they really felt they wanted to do something. Yeah, it feels good to be able to help.”
The pup was nicknamed ‘Fort St. James’ and caretakers at the Vancouver aquarium say it will hopefully be released back into the wild following a couple months of rehabilitation.
Police advise members of the public to leave seal pups alone if they come across them in the wild, because seal mothers will periodically leave their young to hunt for food.
Any serious concerns should be reported to the Marine Mammal Rescue Center, which can be contacted at 604-258-7325.