NEWS

Seal pup rescue lands hiker in hot water

09/17/2014 03:08 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:56 EDT
A woman hiking on the West Coast Trail in Pacific Rim National Park may be fined after she tried to rescue an injured seal pup.

The two-month-old pup had a damaged eye and appeared near death when she picked it up and took it to Port Renfrew.

The woman, who has not been publicly identified, then called the Vancouver Aquarium for help.

The problem is, it's against the law to remove wildlife from Canada's national parks.

Parks Canada says although it may seem heartless, it's best to leave injured animals where they are and to call officials.

Depending on the situation, animals may be left in place as they provide food for other animals in the wild. In some cases, they may look like they need help, but their mothers could be nearby.

Parks Canada says it has been in contact with the hiker, but no decision has been made regarding a fine. Fines could range from a verbal or written warning to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a serious poaching incident.

The aquarium says if you find a marine mammal in distress outside a park, stay back, keep people and pets away, and call the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604-258-7325.

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