Published on July 15th, 2009 | by Jennifer Lance
BC Wildlife Officials to Tourists: Don't Put Seal Pups in Your Car
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A tourist from Calgary found a lone seal pup while in British Columbia. She thought the pup needed rescuing, so she put it in her car wrapped in a blanket then called the police. Most likely, the pup was not abandoned. Canada.com explains:
According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, mother seals will often leave their pups shortly after birth. They will often return to their pups within 24 hours provided conditions are right, one of those being that humans aren’t nearby.
The seal pup was flown to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at the Vancouver Aquarium to recover from its car experience before being released back into the wild. According to the Marine Mammal Rescue Center:
It is best to contact an experienced marine mammal rescue organization before attempting to rescue a seal, sea lion, or any other marine mammal. Trained rescuers will assess the situation and determine whether intervention is necessary…If you see a pinniped on land, do not attempt to coax, pull, or push it back into the water. Seals and sea lions are wild animals, and approaching too closely can cause them undue stress. If they feel threatened, they may bite (even small pups!). Keep them and yourself safe by staying back as far as possible (the Canadian Marine Mammal Regulations specify a distance of 100m).
BC wildlife officials have issued a specific warning in response to the tourist’s actions.
Via: Surfrider Foundation