VANCOUVER - A dehydrated, severely underweight northern fur seal pup is being treated at a rescue centre in Vancouver after being scooped from the waters off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island.
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre says in a release that the roughly seven-month-old pup was floating sideways and unable to dive when it was spotted Monday by employees of a salmon farm near Johnstone Strait.
The seal was flown to Vancouver where rescue centre staff say it's small for its age and requires intensive observation.
Centre assistant manager Emily Johnson says the pup, now named Mo, had been weaned but was failing to thrive.
Mo is receiving antibiotics and other treatment and will be given a more thorough physical exam once her condition stabilizes.
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada lists northern fur seals as threatened, but they are not yet listed under the Species at Risk Act.
The seals are found from Japan to California and are known to forage between January and June in waters 20 to 150 km off B.C.
Staff at the rescue centre successfully rehabilitated a male northern fur seal pup in 2017 and are optimistic about Mo's chances.
"She's feisty, which is a hopeful sign," Johnson said in the release.
It's expected the pup will also be released when she is healthy again.