Veterinarians unable to save lost baby seal
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.