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Public's role in seal pup name game helps centre fund rescues

How the heck did the rescue centre end up caring for a Hula, Twist, or Bratwurst?
Rescued male harbour seal Flip Flop was found in Cowichan Bay and admitted to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre on July 24. due to maternal separation and emaciation.

Lyndsaye Akhurst is trying really hard not to laugh as she’s doing a telephone interview from inside the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.

But the seal pups are making a racket and asking for dinner.

“It’s the quietest place I could find,” says Akhurst, as she soothes little harbour seals with names like Hula, Avocado and Salsa.

The centre’s rescued seal pups are named by the public, many of whom give donations to support the process.

This year, it’s dance themes, so there is a Waltz, Charleston, Twist and Hula.

Other seals are named based on what donors last ate: Noodles, Sushi and Bratwurst.

The seals will spend up to four months in the centre being fed and exercised and treated if they are injured. They will be released at various times, usually in September and as late as October, often in small groups.

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