Monday, July 9, 2007

It is "baby seal left alone on the beach" season again here on Bowen Island.

Every summer, mother seals give birth and then put their babies on beaches while they go fishing. Baby seals don't have much stamina, so they rest and wait for mom to come back and nurse them. While they are waiting they kind of loll around alot and sleep. It seems that every year, a seal gets left on a public beach where it naturally attracts the interest of humans, some of whome think the lolling around and sleeping part means the seal is dying.

Baby seals left alone on beaches are generally just fine. If you see one LEAVE IT ALONE. If you are wondering what else to do call 604-258-SEAL for instructions. That is the number for the Vancouver Aquarium. Unless a seal is bleeding, it is fine. Even if it is making little "pleading" mewling sounds, it is fine. If it closes its eyes it is not dying. It is sleeping. If you remove it from the beach and the mother returns, you will orphan it. If their babies are gone, mother seals will not go looking for them. They will simply disappear and get on with their lives. Removing a baby seal from the beach will certainly orphan it and will likely kill it.

So here's the drill: if you find a seal on a beach leave the seal alone, keep dogs and well meaning humans away from it and call the Aqaurium, CAWES or the vet before you do anything else.