Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre Helps Harbor Seal Pups Get a Flipper Up

The Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre assists ill, injured, or abandoned marine mammals with the goal of rehabilitating them for release back into their natural habitat. If you believe a marine mammal is in distress, contact the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604-258-SEAL (7325). To learn more about their important rescue and rehab work visit: http://www.vanaqua.org/act/direct-action/marine-mammal-rescue. ZooBorns is proud to share some of the recently rescued pups along with their stories according to the centre's Facebook page.

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"PV1417 "Argon" was admitted this morning from Goose Spit in Comox. This adorable, slightly cross-eyed little pup is only the 2nd female pup admitted so far this season! She was also a transfer from Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, who were kind enough to house her overnight, and administer some much needed fluids and glucose. Again a huge thanks to Harbour Air Seaplanes for donating the cargo space to fly her over to us!"

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"PV1412 "Radium" was admitted June 26 from busy Iona beach. He was found under a jetty, trying to avoid the circling eagles in the area. Thanks Matt and Melanie, and to GVRD for assistance!"

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"PV1414 "Radon" was admitted June 28 from Vancouver Island. Thank you to Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society for housing and organizing transport for this little guy, and to helicopter pilot Norm for flying him all the way to us!"

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"Curious PV1432 "Abba" is settling in well after her transfer from the Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre to our facility. The IWNCC helps to stabilize seal pups that are found farther away from our centre, playing an important part in rehabilitating these animals in their younger, more vulnerable stages. Many thanks to Marielle and the team for helping rehabilitate this pup!"


Vancouver Aquarium Releases Rehabilitated Harbor Seals

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After receiving months of care at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, seven rehabilitated Harbor Seal pups poked their noses out of their transport kennels and wiggled down to the waters of Howe Sound on the morning of November 20. Five of the rescued seal pups were outfitted with satellite-linked transmitters, which will provide valuable data to the aquarium’s veterinary team regarding the seal pups’ travel patterns and progress following their release. 

In the water, the transmitters don't weigh anything, and the seals don't seem to be bothered by them at all! They aren't invasive; no part of the animal has been punctured or any pain caused. They will fall off by the time the animals molt next spring, if not before. When the animals move, the antennas point backwards, and so they don't affect the seals' ability to swim.The transmitters are the result of decades of collaboration between veterinarians, biologists, engineers, and programmers.  

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5 sealPhoto credits: Vancouver Aquarium

See photos of the release after the fold!

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Alaska SeaLife Center Rehabs Baby Otter For New Home at Vancouver Aquarium

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This orphaned female Sea Otter pup was rescued off the side of a road by Alaska SeaLife Center volunteers on October 19, 2012, after efforts to locate her mother were unsuccessful and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized the intervention.The pup was immediately transferred to its I.Sea.U. critical care unit in Seward, Alaska for emergency treatment. She was estimated to be approximately eight weeks old when found, and was deemed non-releasable by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service due to the maternal care required by young otters.

She has just been transferred from the Alaska SeaLife Center to its new permanent home at the Vancouver Aquarium, which will allow the pup to receive the ongoing care and companionship she needs. Described as playful, and sometimes mischievous, she has adjusted well and soon will be introduced to Tanu and Elfin -- two Sea Otters who were also found stranded as pups and rescued by the Alaska SeaLife Center in years past.

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Photo Credit: Alaska SeaLife Center

Local students from the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Ocean Sciences Club provided three possible Alaskan names for the baby Otter: Susitna, Katmaiand Glacier. The final choice will be made through a voting contest held by the Vancouver Aquarium. 

Learn more of this story of teamwork below the fold:

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Peek-A-Boo! Little Goeldi's Marmoset gets first look at the world

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The Goeldi’s Marmoset troop at the Vancouver Aquarium welcomed a new addition in early September.  This is the fourth baby born to Ginger, the troop’s matriarch, and an important addition to the captive population of these primates, which are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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Kristen Brown, the animal care specialist responsible for these animals, says that female Goeldi’s marmosets generally have two offspring a year. Kristen says the baby will spend the next couple of weeks hanging on to its mom’s shoulders, crawling to her belly when it’s time to nurse.  Eventually, the baby will begin to venture out on its own and become interested in what everyone else is eating: fruits, vegetables and insects.

After two months, the baby will start jumping and climbing as it grows stronger. And if past experience is any indication, it will also start to chase and be chased by its brothers and sisters.

Goeldi’s Marmosets are native to the upper Amazon Basin in South America.  These tiny primates are only about 8 inches (20 cm) long, excluding the tail.  Like most tropical primates, they feed on fruit, insects, and small vertebrates.  During the dry season, they feed on fungi, making them the only tropical primate to depend on this food item.

Photo Credit: Neil Fisher


Baby Beluga Bounces into Vancouver Aquarium

Just a few hours ago at the Vancouver Aquarium, staff watched breathlessly as 20 year old beluga whale Aurora gave birth to a calf. Like all baby belugas, the calf was born with large wrinkles which disappear over the first few weeks.

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The unnamed calf will be sharing its enclosure with another calf born in the fall of last year named Tiqa. Researchers are interested to see how the two calves interact and we hope to bring you pictures soon.

Video of actual birth can be watched below the fold. Be warned though: like most mammal births, it's a messy (but joyous!) process.

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