Our Rescue Centre is Canada's only hospital dedicated to treating sick, injured, or orphaned marine mammals. Our goal is to successfully rehabilitate and release healthy animals back to their ocean habitat.  We strive to create an environment that minimizes stress and handling to avoid habituation and ensure our patients maintain their natural behaviours.

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Specialized Veterinary Care

Within twenty-four hours after being admitted, each patient receives a physical exam, and a blood sample is taken and submitted for analysis. This data provide vital information for our veterinarians, who create an individual diagnostic, treatment, and feeding protocol, specific to each patient’s needs. Each animal is closely monitored, and treatment plans are modified throughout rehabilitation. With the centre’s fully functioning hospital, complete with surgical suite, the veterinary team has the capacity to perform diagnostic imaging and surgical procedures on-site when required.

Feeding & Observations

The most crucial step in an animal’s rehabilitation is initial stabilization, where close observation by our expert animal care staff and volunteer team is vital. The focus of the stabilization period is to correct dehydration and slowly introduce nutrition.  Feeding regimens are tailored to the specific species and condition.  Seal pup patients are fed a specially designed, zoological formula that is nutrient dense and high in fat to mimic the fat content of their mother’s milk. Older animals admitted, are offered high quality, sustainably sourced fish. We carefully monitor the diet of all animals in our care.

Wild animals are adapted to mask any signs of weakness and disease, since this makes them more susceptible to predators. Sometimes animals will exhibit very few outward signs of illness until their condition is dire. Staff and volunteers are specially trained in marine mammal behaviour and the importance of close patient observation; detecting and documenting small nuances in behaviour greatly increases an animal’s chance of a survival.

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Cleaning & Care

Staff and volunteers spend a large part of their day ensuring that all areas of the centre are properly cleaned to maintain biosecurity.  Adhering to the strict cleaning protocols and the use of foot baths are the most important aspects in minimizing disease transmission and preventing outside pathogens from entering the facility.

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Insights Into Ocean Health

Each patient provides an important opportunity to collect data and samples that can be shared with researchers worldwide - everything from blood, swabs, feces, and tissue samples.

This data helps monitor changes in animal health and can identify emerging diseases that could present a population-wide threat to marine mammals or threats to human health. Recently, inhouse sampling assisted Provincial pathologists in H5N1 highly parthenogenic avian influenza (HPAI) studies.

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