A young harbour seal that was rescued after being hit in the face with two dozen shotgun pellets has lost her eyesight but continues to recover.Jessica Seal, less than two years old, was rescued Feb. 18 at a Kitsilano Beach. She was “emaciated and lethargic,” according to rescuers, and had been hit more than 23 times in the face with birdshot pellets.The seal had been suffering for so long, some of her wounds had started to heal over.Over the weekend, rescuers with the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre shared a video of Jessica Seal playing in a pool, demonstrating the progress she had made in her recovery.“Sadly, though, she lost her eyesight as a result of her injuries,” read an update. “That doesn’t stop her from enjoying herself though.”Fisheries and Oceans Canada will be tasked with determining whether Jessica Seal can be released into the wild or not. If she is deemed non-releasable, rescuers will work to find an accredited facility where she can live permanently and be cared for.Jessica Seal is the fifth animal injured by gunshot to be rescued in recent years. Just last month, rescuers travelled to Washington state to perform surgery on a pregnant seal shot in the head during a fishing derby.Anyone who spots an injured marine mammal should contact the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604-258-7325 or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ hotline at 1-800-465-4336.Those who wish to donate to support animals under the care of Ocean Wise and the MMRC can do so online.
VANCOUVER, B.C.: MARCH 5, 2019 — A young harbour seal named Jessica Seal was rescued from a Kitsilano beach on Feb. 18, 2019. The seal had suffered more than 23 birdshot pellets in the face, damaging her vision and teeth permanently. She was emaciated and lethargic when rescued by the Vancouver Aquarium Mammal Rescue Centre. This image and X-ray shows the extent of her injuries.
HANDOUT / VANCOUVER AQUARIUM MARINE MAMMAL RESCUE CENTRE /