MARS rescues blind seal pup

'Mr. Magoo' now in the hands of Vancouver Aquarium staff

  • Oct. 31, 2016 4:00 p.m.
“Mr. Magoo” was spotted by a passerby near Eagles Drive Park

“Mr. Magoo” was spotted by a passerby near Eagles Drive Park

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

An abandoned harbour seal pup affectionately named Mr. Magoo is in the caring hands of Vancouver Aquarium staff, thanks to a passerby who alerted the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS).

The male pup was emaciated when he was discovered Oct. 18 on a beach near Eagles Drive Park in Area C. Turns out the seal is blind, thus the nickname taken from the cartoon character.

“Initially what we do is just rescue, and make sure the animal is in good enough shape to transport,” MARS manager Robert McLennan said. “If there’s an immediate need for treatment (such as dehydration) we can do minor things like that. Rehabilitation is done by the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre in Vancouver (at the aquarium). We act kind of as an intermediary.”

Mr. Magoo was airlifted to the aquarium for treatment.

He is one of 56 seal pups on a patient list, where he has been named Azabat — as in ‘Blind as a bat.’

Staff don’t know how long Azabat has been blind. He would have been born in July or August.

He is being tube fed a fish mash to increase his weight.

“His body condition wasn’t horrible, so he was obviously eating out there,” a vet tech said. “He probably hasn’t been with his mom since September. This injury or disease would have happened in the past few weeks…There are blind adult seals in the wild, or one-eyed seals. But given his age, I don’t think he really had a chance. He was at that point where he was learning to be independent and fish on his own. A critical time in his life — he was definitely rescued for a good reason.”

McLennan is thankful the passerby notified MARS.

“It’s great that the public knows to call us,” he said.

To report orphaned, ill or injured wildlife, call 250-337-2021. The after-hours number is 250-897-2257.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The CSRHD board has diverging views on its relationship with Island Health. File photo
Comox-Strathcona board ponders relationship with Island Health

“We have to stand together … to get our share of the health budget.”

The CVCDA Accessibility Project is creating safer ramps at the Courtenay facility. Photo supplied
Accessibility project underway at Comox Valley Child Development Association

Over the past month, you may have noticed some construction underway behind… Continue reading

19 Wing Comox’s Wing Auxiliary Security Force (WASF) will be conducting training at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Comox and the Department of National Defence Seal Bay training area from April 12-16. Black Press file photo
19 Wing training set for April at Seal Bay, CFB Comox

Members of the public may see an increase in activity at locations in the Valley

The Union Bay Improvement District is holding its AGM April 29 as it looks to hand over services to the regional district. Record file photo
Union Bay board hikes water rates due to operating costs

Board also planning for AGM, transition to regional district service

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

Most Read