A northern fur seal pup named Mo is in the care of Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre veterinarians after employees of a salmon farming operation spotted her swimming erratically near Hardwicke Island.
The female seal pup, estimated to be about seven months old, was rescued Monday by Mowi salmon farm staff, the rescue centre said in a news release. According to employees, she was floating sideways and struggling to dive under the water.
The pup was transported by plane from Campbell River to Vancouver later that evening.
Emily Johnson, assistant manager at the Rescue Centre, said that Mo has been under intensive observation since arriving.
A northern fur seal pup is now in care at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, after employees of a salmon farming operation spotted her swimming irregularly in waters near Hardwicke Island on Monday. Estimated to be ~ 7 months old. More to come @BlackPressMedia pic.twitter.com/VXd6ejkUb3
— Ashley Wadhwani (@ashwadhwani) January 29, 2019
“She’s a 2018 pup, but very small for her age,” Johnson said. “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.”
Once her condition has stabilized, the veterinary team will do a more thorough physical exam, anticipated later this week.
Northern fur seals are not listed under the the Species At Risk Act, but are considered to be threatened. They swim throughout the Pacific Rim, from Japan to the Channel Islands of California. The seals often visit B.C. waters this time of year to forage for food.