Northern seal a first at centre

May 6, 2014

I love watching PBS and I love watching Hope for Wildlife on PBS. Hope for Wildlife is a center in Nova Scotia where wounded wild animals are rehabilitated and returned to nature. The philosophy and ethics behind any of these kinds of centers is based on the fact that the more that we, as humans, infringe on the natural habitat of other animals, the more we either directly or indirectly are responsible for injuries that they would not have suffered in the past. For that reason, it is our responsibility to help heal and return to nature.

The following is a story about a similar center on Salt Spring Island, BC, where I lived for 16 years. When we first moved to Salt Spring Island, my son, Luke, who was then 12 year old, and I volunteered for a short time in a shop that sold products in financial support of the Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre. 

By the way, you might notice that my recent posts have been quite short. In Cherryville, where I am currently housesitting, as it always was for me on Salt Spring Island, WiFi for the Internet is not available. What we do in these rural communities is plug a cord into our computers in order to get the Internet working. This does not work quite like WiFi, though. I do not watch Netflicks here because there are too many pauses in the movie due to the slower speed of this type of Internet connection. Also, spending a lot of time inputting a long article into my blog post is impossible as it takes way, way,way too long to save it.

So here is another short post:

The Gulf Islands Driftwood

February 23, 2000

Northern seal a first at centre

by Tanya Lester

It could be from anywhere as far west as Japan and as far south as California, but Jeff Lederman of the Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre (IWNCC) thinks their first northern fur seal guest came from the Alusian Islands in Alaska.

The northern fur seal which is actually a miniature sea lion, arrived a IWNCC on February 8 after being rescued from Kelsey Bay in Sayward on Vancouver Island. It was being harassed by people at a fish farm who often kill sea lions and other animals preying on fish, even though it is illegal to do so, said Lederman.

The woman who saved it said the sea lion was in the same part of the water for three days.

Lederman said that at 15 poinds the seal is at 50 per cent of its body weight. Like all sea lions, it walks around on its flippers and is “adorable,” according to Lederman, with a big head and big flippers attached to an emaciated body covered in soft, grey fur.

Since its arrival, IWNCC volunteers have been struggling to keep it alive with five tube feedings of fish formula each day, Lederman said.

It is living in the indoor intensive care ward and being given antibiotics as well as homeopathic remedies for dehydration, pneumonia, bowel problems and flukes, a body parasite in the tapeworm family, according to Lederman.

Her said the northern fur seal will appear close to death one day but will be improved enough to climb the walls on the next day. Lederman said the sea lion likes to bite when he is feeling better.

Northern sea lions can live in the water for months, said Lederman. They swim and sleep in the water with 75 per cent of them going to the Alusian Islands to breed each June.

The IWNCC has had an 80 per cent survival rate with harbour seals, which are much more common residents. Other animals recently rehabilitated include three ducks still left over from the last canola oil spill, two bald eagles, a great blue heron and a gull.


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Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader by Tanya Lester can be purchased by going to the title and author name on or purchased directly from me, the author.




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