A rescued sea lion made it home for the holidays this year, thanks to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
The sea lion was found in October on the beach near Campbell River, suffering from “prolonged malnutrition and dehydration,” according to a post on the Aquarium’s Facebook page. Over the past few months, the Rescue Centre has been helping the sea lion, who they’ve named Campbell, get back to full health, and on December 15th, he was released back into the ocean near Sooke, BC.
As videos of the release show, Campbell waddled confidently back toward the water and had no reservations about getting back in. He had made a great recovery and was much stronger than he had been when he’d been found.
“We have been working around the clock for two months getting him better,” Lindsay Akhurst, manager for the rescue centre, told the CBC. “For him to seem so comfortable coming out and into the water and just take off and now we can’t see him any more, it’s just really great to see.”
When Campbell was first found on the beach, it was a much different story. He was very easy for rescuers to capture, which wasn’t a good sign for his health. “We shouldn’t normally be able to walk up and approach a healthy California sea lion,” said Andrew Celmainis, a veterinary technician with the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
It’s been a busy year for the Rescue Centre, which has treated and rehabilitated over 200 animals, including seals, sea lions, and sea otters.
“Some people would suggest we just let nature take its course. We have seen cases, especially over the last year, with animals that it’s not just nature. It’s human caused,” Akhurst said.