NEWS

Rescued seal pup dies: Vancouver Aquarium

09/18/2014 03:15 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:59 EDT
A seal pup rescued from the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island has died at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Nicknamed 'Fermium' by aquarium staff, the 2-month-old female died at around 4 a.m. PT Thursday morning, said spokeswoman, Deana Lancaster.

The seal's prognosis was poor when it arrived at the aquarium's rescue centre earlier this week. It suffered from multiple cuts to her hind flippers, a damaged eye, several seizures and may have also battling an infection.

Seal pup rescuer could face fine

The seal pup came under the aquarium's care after a woman hiking the West Coast Trail in Pacific Rim National Park found it in distress Saturday.

The woman, who has not been publicly identified, took the pup out of the park and then called aquarium for help.

The problem is, it's against the law to remove wildlife from Canada's national parks, says Alison Manley, the external relations manager for the Coastal B.C. field unit.

Manley says although it may be difficult, it's best to leave injured animals where they are and contact Parks Canada staff at 1-866-944-1744.

Depending on the situation, animals may be left in place as they provide food for other animals in the wild, she said.

In some cases, seal pups 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 range from a verbal or written warning to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a serious poaching incident.

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

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