Written by Lynne Wheeler of British Columbia, Canada
It was a hot summer evening and I was working in my garden, when I heard a cry that sounded like a little kid calling “Ma! Ma!” After some investigation, I realized it was coming from the ocean.
Hauling out my kayak, I paddled out to find the source. The cutest little baby seal came up right beside my boat and called again, looking at me with big puppy eyes.
“Where’s your mom?” I asked, as he dipped beneath the surface. He came up again and nudged my hand, then swam beneath my kayak, bumping the hull underneath my boat and crying plaintively, even under water. He kept coming up, crying and bumping the boat, obviously very hungry. I hung out for awhile, and then decided to go back to the garden, hoping his mom would come back soon to feed him. I finally fell asleep that night to the sound of his pitiful cries.
I Drifted On the Sea With Him
The next evening, I came home only to find the little tyke still hanging out in the ocean in front of my house, crying pitifully. Once again, I paddled out, only to have him swimming up, touching my hand, bumping the boat and crying pitifully for his mother. I drifted out there on the sea, talking gently with him, feeling helpless because I didn’t know what to do with him. I had heard that one should leave baby seals alone, but on the third day when he was still cryng, I called the SPCA and eventually got connected with the Vancouver Aquarium. Once they realized that the mother seal was not coming back, they asked if I thought I could catch the baby seal. They told me that he likely would not survive another day. I thought I could catch him, considering he was so friendly and desperate for company and food.
I enlisted the help of my husband, and we paddled out in a canoe. Sure enough, the little guy came up right away to touch my hand. We were ready with a large fish net, and tried to dip it underneath him to catch him. It took three tries before we were successful in pulling him aboard. Baby seals may be tiny, but they are heavy! I got him loaded into a dog crate and drove into town where I met a volunteer who took him to the Vancouver Aquarium. I never did find out how he made out, but I like to think he is happy and free somewhere in the Strait of Georgia. More marine life protection photos here.
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