Seal pup rescued from Willows Beach responding well to treatment

Pup ‘bright and alert’ but still in intensive care

An injured seal pup rescued from Oak Bay’s Willows Beach last weekend is responding well to treatment but still receiving intensive care.

The seal, dubbed Kylie Minnow, was flown in to Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre on Monday morning, after she was saved from the beach Sunday night. She was significantly underweight and her left eye was injured, according to the centre’s manager, Lindsaye Akhurst.

“We put her on some medication and she’s responding really well to the treatments for that eye. She’s bright and alert. She’s being tube fed five times a day right now,” Akhurst said Friday.

The seal was unable to open her left eye, was suffering from a few small abrasions, and weighed only about 6.5 kilograms. A healthy seal pup should weigh around 10 kilograms at birth, said Akhurst, who estimated the pup was about a day or two old when she was rescued.

She remains in intensive care, because she is so small.

A volunteer with the BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre saved Kylie Minnow from the beach after a resident made the call to Wild ARC.

The seal was separated from her mother.

A lone seal pup on the beach is not always a sign of a needed rescue — the seal’s mom may be out foraging for food, for example — but, in this case, the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, which was in touch with rescuers on Willows Beach, felt the pup needed to be saved.

“The pup had been there for an extended period of time and did need rescuing, had the injury to the eye — so obviously something was going on — and because she was so small, we felt we needed to act pretty fast to bring her in to the centre to start the rehabilitation process,” Akhurst said.

Read also: ‘Not all seal pups you see alone need to be rescued’

The pup’s full recovery is not a guarantee.

“It’s hard to say,” Akhurst said. The rehabilitation process can take several months.

The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre admits between 120 to 200 harbour seal pups each year, according to Akhurst.

The first step in the centre’s rehabilitation process is helping the rescued seals rehydrate and gain weight. If successful, rescuers then work to wean the seals off formula food and start to teach them how to catch fish. The seals may then be released if they reach a healthy weight and pass a physical exam.

Akhurst advised anyone who sees a lone seal pup on a beach to call the rescue centre.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canadian Tire Fix-A-Heart campaign raises more than $75,000 for Royal Jubilee Hospital

Donations will help purchase infusion pumps for cardiac care units

Traffic delays: Saturday work added to Highway 1 construction schedule

Work continues on dangerous stretch between Leigh Road and West Shore Parkway

VIDEO: James Bay wolf released into wild of western Vancouver Island

Conservation officers confirm wolf is from Discovery Island

Peninsula Panthers’ Josh Lingard scores four against Kerry Park Islanders

Lingard and teammates narrowly lose all-star game 7-6 in sudden death overtime

Greater Victoria man killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

VIDEO: Driver guilty in Saanich crash that left 11-year-old with catastrophic brain injuries

North Saanich woman convicted on one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

The Three Bears are down to two after baby bear carving stolen from his perch in Island community

Thief repeatedly kicked it and dislodged it from cement and rebar

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

Most Read