Vet­eri­nar­i­ans un­able to save lost baby seal

Montreal Gazette - - CITY -

Hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres from home, a lost and in­jured baby seal floun­dered around Ver­dun and the Old Port for days be­fore it could be res­cued on Tuesday.

But the com­mon seal, only a few months old, was too badly in­jured to be saved and was eu­th­a­nized, said Emiko Wong, a Biodôme vet­eri­nar­ian who helped ex­am­ine the seal at the Mon­treal zoo and aquar­ium.

“Both sides of his lower jaw were frac­tured and it wasn’t re­cent — we could smell in­fec­tion,” Wong told the Mon­treal Gazette on Wed­nes­day. “He couldn’t close his mouth prop­erly, and it must have been very painful as well.”

The seal also had lac­er­a­tions on its hind flip­pers, she said.

“His prog­no­sis was very poor.” She said the jaw was prob­a­bly bro­ken in a col­li­sion with a boat.

“The bones of the jaw are very strong and it’s nec­es­sary to have quite an im­pact in or­der to cause a frac­ture on both sides.”

Wong said it’s very rare to see seals in and around Mon­treal.

“Their colonies are usu­ally higher up in the es­tu­ary and in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence,” Wong said.

In Jan­uary, an adult seal was spot­ted near Ver­dun but is thought to have found its way home, Wong said. Sev­eral years ago, the Biodôme treated an in­jured seal that was later housed at the Que­bec City aquar­ium, she said.

The in­jured baby seal was first spot­ted near Ver­dun on Satur­day and then again by a boater at the Old Port on Mon­day who sent a video of the seal to the TVA net­work. On Tuesday, the seal was spot­ted on a dock near the Bota Bota spa, lo­cated on a boat moored near McGill and de la Com­mune Sts. A passerby called the Réseau québé­cois d’ur­gences pour les mam­mifères marins, a net­work of or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the Biodôme, that helps marine life in dis­tress.

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