This Tuesday, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre released a rescued seal pup back into his native waters after 13 weeks of care.
The premature pup, named Shadow, was found lying on the rocks off Haida Gwaii by a dock manager at the Queen Charlotte lodge on June 1 . After 48 hours on the rocks, the pup's mom was still nowhere to be found. He weighed just 5 kilograms.
The manager, Ryan Ashton, hand-fed little Shadow a special formula according to instructions given to him by Rescue Centre staff over the phone. When Shadow was strong enough, he was flown to Vancouver for rehabilitation, the Vancouver Sun reports.
The Rescue Centre staff fed Shadow a rich mixture for 21 days before introducing him to fish.
"A month later, Shadow had shown great signs of improvement and was moved to a larger pool where he learned how to find fish on his own," Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of the Rescue Centre, told the Times Colonist.
His health improved greatly until he weighed a healthy 30 kilograms.
At his release on Tuesday, Shadow was accompanied by another rescued seal, Midnight Pearl, who had been found near Bella Bella.
According to Akhurst, "Shadow crashed through the waves and swam like a champ" when he was released.