Watch: Stranded seal returned to the water after ice rescue
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore
Published Sunday, January 13, 2019 9:41PM EST
A stranded seal rescued from the ice in Glace Bay, N.S., has been safely returned to the water.
The seal was rescued after area residents discovered it had been stuck on the ice near a busy highway for nearly a week.
“Our original plan was to release him and get him off the ice,” rescuer Mark David told CTV Atlantic. “But Sasha sent pictures to Hope for Wildlife, and they said he was underweight and had marks on him from different things.”
Sasha Stubbert, a volunteer with non-profit wildlife rehabilitation centre Hope for Wildlife, reached out to the organization for advice on how they could best help the animal.
“There’s nothing worse than seeing something stranded and injured and there’s no way for it to help itself,” Stubbert said. “You’re not always successful in helping, but I certainly wanted to try.”
The group lifted the seal up in a tarp and transferred it to a crate, which they then pushed to shore.
At six-feet long and nearly 200 pounds, the group had their work cut out for them, but had the volunteer fire department standing by in case something went awry.
“It was all hands on deck and definitely teamwork that made us succeed in making the rescue,” Colin Buchanan said.
The seal was then loaded up into a van and taken to the animal sanctuary.
Hope Swinimer, founder of Hope for Wildlife, says that as soon as the seal arrived, the veterinary team did x-rays and numerous other tests but found no health issues.
“Luckily for us, we couldn’t find anything wrong with this guy,” Swinimer said.
After some research, the team discovered that their patient was a harp seal, a species known for how docile they are.
Swinimer says that harp seals are semi-aquatic, and it’s perfectly normal for them to be on land for days, or even weeks at a time.
Just days after the rescue, the group returned to the seal has been returned to the water.
“He really made a dash into the ocean,” Swinimer said. “It was wonderful to see.”