Premature baby seal named Fort St. James Photo from submitted YouTube video

Premature baby seal named Fort St. James Photo from submitted YouTube video

Mounties rescue baby seal, call it Fort St. James

It’s not what they were expecting to find on their patrol, but Coquitlam Mounties are hoping for a quick recovery for a baby seal they rescued in Belcarra.

The Coquitlam RCMP Rural Section was on routine boat patrol when they were flagged down by a man in Cosy Cove. The Mounties were soon face-to-face with a premature baby seal that had been alone for more than a day and was likely abandoned by its mother.

“We made a quick detour to the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine MammalRescue Centre,” said Corporal Justin Abels with Coquitlam RCMP’s

Rural Section, “the staff there named the pup ‘Fort St. James’ and said it looks like he was premature and only a day or two old. Now the staff will do their best to rehabilitate Fort St. James over the next two months before releasing him into the wild.”

The RCMP has learned some good tips about seal pups from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre:

• If you see a seal pup don’t assume it is abandoned. The mother could be off foraging for food while the pup is resting;

• Keep people away to let the mother come back. Respect that a seal is a wild animal;

• If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604-258-7325.

The RCMP Rural Section patrols a large area including the Fraser River, Pitt River, Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm. Its members check for impaired boating, illegal crabbing and fishing, and safety on the water and an occasional wildlife rescue.

– press release by Cpl. Michael McLaughlin, Media Relations Officer, Coquitlam RCMP