Marine Mammal Rescue
Marine Mammal Rescue
Our rescue program is one of the largest rescue facilities in the world - rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing over 150 marine mammals each year.
If you see a marine mammal that you believe is in distress:
Rescue situations, and their recommended courses of action, vary dramatically depending on the species concerned. Other critical factors are also involved, such as age, behaviour, location and apparent health. Please don't try to help an animal on your own.
The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, is Canada’s only dedicated marine mammal rescue facility and one of the largest rescue facilities in the world. We have been involved in marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation for some sixty years. Our current facilities allow for on-site rehabilitation of seals, sea lions, sea otters, sea turtles and small cetaceans, such as harbour porpoise. We are also equipped to respond to off-site marine mammal emergencies, including disentangling sea lions in the wild. Each year, our rescue program saves 100+ marine mammals and rehabilitates them for release back into their natural habitat.
Our team includes a board certified aquatic animal staff veterinarian, veterinary fellow (as well as several consulting veterinarians), registered veterinary technologists, animal care and rehabilitation specialists and many dedicated volunteers. All members of the team are highly trained to provide qualified and experienced veterinary care to our patients.
The Rescue Centre has two indoor spaces. One houses a food preparation area and offices. The other is a new state-of-the art hospital including a laboratory, pharmacy, examination area and surgical and recovery areas. Our outdoor facilities consist of a variety of rehabilitation pools and tubs to suit different sizes and species of marine mammals at different stages of rehabilitation. Quarantine is critical in wildlife rehabilitation: new arrivals and/or sick animals are kept separated from any healthy marine mammals.
The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is a hospital and care facility for sick, injured or orphaned marine mammals. Each year, our rescue program saves over 100 marine mammals and rehabilitates them for release back into their natural habitat.
Sadly, sea lions frequently become entangled in discarded packing straps, rope, string and nets. It is estimated that over 400 sea lions are affected along our coast. Our Marine Mammal Rescue team has pioneered a way to disentangle these animals. Disentanglements take an extraordinary amount of time, personnel, boats, gear and drugs.
Dedicated volunteers are essential to the success of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Volunteers clean facilities and animal care spaces; prepare food and assist in feeding animals; assist with the preparation and administration of medications and treatments; accompany staff on rescues and releases; and help to ensure that every animal gets the care that it needs.
Please note, the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is not currently accepting new volunteers
We are excited to announce that Marine Mammal Rescue now has stable, long-term funding thanks to the purchase of the Vancouver Aquarium by Herschend Enterprises! As such, Marine Mammal Rescue is not currently accepting donations. Read more.
Should you wish to make a tax-receiptable donation in support of ocean conservation, please consider making a donation to Ocean Wise Conservation Association. Ocean Wise operated Marine Mammal Rescue until spring 2021. It is now a separate non-profit organization dedicated to protecting our oceans and the animals who call it home. Learn more at ocean.org.
Supporting the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre through your company offers unique recognition and engagement opportunities and helps us run Canada’s only marine mammal rescue facility.
Ongoing contributions made by our valued partners are essential to the success of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
All of our rescues are collaborative efforts between Marine Mammal Rescue and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) All rescues, rehabilitation and releases are authorized and monitored by DFO.
If you see a marine mammal that you believe is in distress, call us: 604.258.SEAL