(250) 414-0233

Marine Mammals

Injured or Orphaned Marine Mammals

Please don’t touch or move the animal unless you’ve spoken to and obtained permission from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.  They will likely ask you to take a photo of the animal and send it to: info@vanaqua.org

Marine Mammal Incident Reporting Hotline 1-800-465-4336

Harbour Seals

A seal pup on its own is not necessarily abandoned or orphaned. Mothers will sometimes leave their young ones alone while they search for food. Observe from a distance, use binoculars.

It may need attention if:

• The seal is OBVIOUSLY INJURED (bleeding). Newborn pups may have the remains of the umbillical cord still attached or a bright red protruding belly button, this is normal.
• You know the seal is an orphan (you have seen the dead mother).
• The pup has been alone for 12+ hours without a parent visible.
• A seal pup is seriously underweight.
• The seal pup appears distressed or non-responsive.

If a young animal is truly orphaned or injured, it needs prompt attention.

Elephant Seals

Elephant seals are regular visitors to our area and can appear to be in distress while moulting. The moulting process can take up to a month and the seals are on the beach for this period. Sometimes they can go through a "dramatic" moult that causes skin sores. This is a normal process, however if you are concerned about the condition of the seal, please take a photo (while keeping your distance) and contact:
Department of Fisheries and Observations at 1-800-465-4336

Female and juvenile elephant seals will be moulting between March and May. Adult males will moult between June and August. Young elephant seals could be moulting in the fall as well.

Stay well away from all Elephant Seals, they can inflict serious injuries.

Otters / Mink / Beavers

On Southern Vancouver Island call Wild ARC at (250) 478-9453

Whales, Dolphins, Porpoise and Sea Turtle Sightings

Sightings can be reported to the BC Cetacean Sightings Network at 1-866-472-9663

Report Fishing Violations

Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) 1-800-465-4336. They have the authority regarding the protection and management of marine mammals and sea turtles.