Sunday, January 09, 2011

Change of Plans and Baby Seal Pamphlet

My planned kayak time got cancelled abruptly this morning, when Bernie came in after walking our landlady's dogs. One of them was not well, so it was time to take the dog to the vet. In a few moments we were out the door, after eating our oatmeal, leaving a voicemail for Louise to explain my non-arrival in paddling gear, and booking a car from the Victoria CarShare Co-op.
The waiting room at the pet hospital has some pamphlets for nervous or bored humans to read while waiting with their pets. I was pleased to see a pamphlet titled "What to do if you find a baby seal." In large, friendly letters, it says "DON'T TOUCH the babies" -- and it shows a photo of an adorable baby harbour seal.
The pamphlet was written by the BC SPCA's Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre. It's a good reminder that when we kayakers or beach-walkers see baby seals "all alone" on the rocks, the young seals are usually fine. The mother seals are usually just out of sight nearby. The pamphlet says if a person truly thinks the baby seal needs help, to call the Wild ARC at 250-478-9453. That number is good for anywhere in the Greater Victoria area.
We wrote about how to report a marine animal in distress here on the Kayak Yak blog.
If you see a baby seal in distress (perhaps visibly injured, or dead parent nearby)
please call DFO’s Observe, Record and Report 24-hour hotline at 1-800-465-4336. That number is toll-free. Call to report any sightings of marine mammals in distress. If you happen to see a sea turtle, healthy or in distress, call the DFO!
Closer to home, no signs of distress. The landlady's dog is currently waiting at the pet hospital for the vet to finish with another animal, so I'm sitting by the phone waiting to hear the verdict. When not on the water, the next best thing is talking about kayaking, so today's blog post got written.
The dog is fine.


  1. Which doggie this time??

    Also, who would touch a seal?!? Maybe they're cute but come on...

  2. It was Laddie.
    As for touching seals, well, they are darned cute. And they look like adoring dogs, not like ferocious wolves.
    It's not just the babies that get touched. The elephant seal that was moulting on Cadboro Bay beach was approached by many people. Like, within three or four feet.
    Sure, as Karl says, a moulting elephant seal looks like it would loooooove to have its back scratched. But I don't think people would come so close to anything with legs, like a pig or a dog. I was saying to the people to stay back, these big seals can move really fast, when it yawned with boredom.
    Big teeth motivated everyone to step back!