Seal pup rescued by kayaker

Two-week old now being nursed back to health in Vancouver after he was found in Schooner Cove near Nanoose Bay

Io the seal pup

A baby seal saved from Schooner Cove appears to be doing well and could eventually be released back into the wild.

“At this point I would say we’re cautiously optimistic,” said Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre where the seal is being nursed back to health.

She estimated the pup to be two weeks old and said he was quite emaciated, dehydrated and dealing with some other clinical issues when it was flown to them Monday morning by Harbour Air.

“He’s a bit quiet, but feisty when he’s fed by tube five times a day,” Akhurst said.

Heather Marshall told CHEK News she’d seen the pup trying to climb into boats, including her kayak, and eventually rescued it from a swim pad behind a boat.

She said mothers often leave their pups in the bay for protection and go out hunting, but in this case, the mother went hunting around the time a pod of transient killer whales was seen in the area and she never returned.

Akhurst said Marshall got in touch with them and they had her send pictures, which showed the pup to be in poor condition. They will continue to stabilize it with nutrition and hopefully sort out any other medical issues.

“Once we get him up to weight he will be weened onto fish and moved into the bigger pools,” she said, concluding that while it is very early and they may not know any underlying conditions, if things go well they should be able to release Io in a few months.

The rescue centre helps more than 100 animals a year.

Experts point out it is not unusual for a mother to leave baby seals alone while they feed. If you find one, keep a distance of at least 100 metres and keep an eye on it to see if the mother returns. Take note of the animal’s condition, keep pets away and call for help assessing if it needs help.

The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre (, which helps more than 150 animals a year, can be reached at 604-258-SEAL (7325) or 604-862-1647 after hours.

Just Posted

Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns says Scheer’s resignation not surprising

Pressure is on NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, as the lone major party leader remaining in the opposition

Parksville and Qualicum Beach looking for firefighters

Those interested can attend regular practice night

Experiment from Ballenas students heads to International Space Station

Entries from 23 countries; Ballenas is one of 11 schools chosen in Canada

Public hearing set for affordable housing development in Parksville

Council passes two bylaws, eyes 130 Shelly Rd. as affordable housing units for families

No injuries reported in five-vehicle pileup in Nanoose Bay

Traffic slowed briefly on Monday afternoon

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

UPDATE: University student dies, another injured in car crash in Nanaimo

Students part of Vancouver Island University’s automotive program

B.C. SPCA seizes dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

BC Hydro offers tips as collisions with power poles increase

Region with the largest spike in collisions was the Lower Mainland at 16 per cent

Most Read