MMR Marine Mammal Rescue Centre Patient Directory

Isla Fisher

Patient Record

Species: Harbour Seal

Patient ID: PV1948

Admitted on: 2019/07/22

Collection Site: Alert Bay

Reason for Admission: Marine mammal disturbance; Emaciated; Maternal separation

Weight at Admission: 6.65 kg

Patient Status: deceased

Date of Death: 2019/07/31

Time in Care: 9 days

Current Habitat: In Quarantine

Every seal that arrives at the rescue centre is placed in a tub under quarantine. This is the first temporary home for each new arrival, where they will remain for an average of 14 days before they are moved to a larger tub.

Transfer History

Received from: (Direct to MMR)

Mode of Transport: Pacific Coastal Airlines

Patient Updates

Isla Fisher died on 2019/07/31 after 9 days in our care.

"Sadly, Isla has died unexpectedly. There were no signs of anything being wrong with her at all. Her bloodwork was unremarkable, and she was bright and alert up until the very end. We found her dead in her tub this morning, and we are now awaiting the necropsy results to learn more."

She's only been with us for a few days, but she seems to have gotten into the routine. She was definitely angrily demanding lunch when we checked in on her...

Guestbook for Isla Fisher

  1. The Seal Pup was found in Alert Bay , Cormorant Island. Cliff Emery took a picture of it and posted on Facebook. When I inquired to the seal’s location, I was surprised to learn it was so close to the village and became worried. I sent Cliff’s picture to Mars Wildlife Rescue and they thought the pup looked thin. They told me to contact the Marine Mammal Rescue Center. I agreed and let them know I would go and see if I could find the seal first which would be the next day. That night I posted a note on Facebook for Alert Bay and asked people to look out for the seal pup, to keep their dogs on leash and please stay away from it. I then googled to see what a baby seal should look like if it was weak and what to do. I am so glad that Cliff took that picture because that pup might have never been found until it was to late. Next day I went out to look for it at low tide. My plan was to monitor it from a distance if I ever found it. A call came in from a friend Beth Dunlop and she told me that there was a wounded seal down by the ferry dock steps. When I arrived to this location I met concerned locals and tourists standing around the little seal. It appeared to be stuck between some very large rocks. I watched from a distance it’s attempts to escape from where it was located. Each time it tried to move out of the rock area it would struggle, fall back and lay there limp with it’s little nose pressed up against the rock before it. It was really weak. It was noon and the sun was extremely hot. The pup was was exposed to direct heat and no wind. It was located in a high traffic area by the Ferry dock where the ferry travels to and from every two hours. It was also far to close to passing boats traveling to and from the marina. A dog named Blue sniffed the seal pup out. Cameron let Beth know there was a seal in trouble and that is why I got called. Some dogs on our island are mean and kill small animals such as mink, otters and cats . I took that into account. I new the seal pup was at risk from unleashed dogs. The seal pup appeared to be very thin and malnourished. The pictures I looked at last night comparing a healthy baby seal to a malnourished one helped me to know that this pup was far to thin. The few men that were near the seal and myself discussed what should be done. We talked about each of the variables that this little seal pup faced. The unanimous decision was for us to rescue it. It took 3 or was it 4 men to lift the large boulders and stones that surrounded the trapped pup. I covered it with my thick cotton apron and when the last stone was safely lifted I picked up the pup. I could hear cheers from people watching. I looked down at the pup in my arms and it was limp like a rag doll. I ran to the edge of the ocean and gently lay the pup down on the cold sand and dribbled cool ocean water over the thick cotton apron that covered it. I new I had to cool down it’s body core. It hardly responded. An urgency came over me to get the pup out of the heat. I started walking quickly down Fir Street. I called for a ride and a stranger offered. I heard the pups first cries in the car. Joanne drove us home. Her son Adam age 14 and herself were most helpful. I placed the pup in my bath tub. While I watched over the pup, Joanne and Adam gathered water from the ocean. We put enough water in the tub to wet its belly. I continued to slowly dribble cool water over it to cool it down. It began to moan more and respond with time. When I new it was recovering from the heat, I turned off the light and shut the door of the bathroom. I then set out to organize it’s rescue by calling the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre that MARS Wildlife Rescue told me about. Joanne left and Adam stayed with me. He was worried about the pups heavy breathing. I made the call and spoke to the woman from the rescue center but fell into problems because I affected by the intense heat as well. I was overwhelmed and could hardly speak. Adam took over the call and got the details from the rescue center for me. He also had the wisdom to encourage me to drink lots of water. He let me know the rescue center would call back in a half hour. Meanwhile he went over to the police station to let them know we rescued a seal pup. Adam returned and let me know the RCMP would come to check on the seal and even me. He left and I made more calls. I notified DFO that I had rescued a seal pup that was in distress and that the rescue center was organizing transportation. The police came and spoke with me, asked a few questions, checked out the pup and left letting me know I could call them if I needed help. Adam returned with lemonade, how kind. Emily from Marine Mammal Rescue called me back and let me know Alert Bay was to remote to pick up the pup by chopper. She instructed me not to feed it, to remove any water in the tub and make sure it was kept calm by turning the light off and door shut to the bathroom. She also mentioned if the seal seemed over heated to spray cool water on it’s back flippers. Then said she would call back. I was feeling better so could think clearer again. It did not take long for me to be affected by heat. I was not wearing a hat and I sure should have been wearing one. Emily called back and mentioned that the only option for transporting the seal pup was to find someone to drive it to the Port Hardy Airport. I offered without hesitation. I had 15 minutes to grab a crate, clean it, gently put the pup in it, load it into the car and get to the ferry terminal. The Lord sure moved mountains this day. I just got the pup in the crate and three people came to the door just in time to put the crate into my car, hug me good bye and rush me into my car. I made the ferry. I had every window open and even the trunk of my car to keep the pup cool while parked in the ferry line. The seal pup was quietly making bubbles. I sprayed cold water on it’s back flippers as instructed. I drove onto the ferry and was parked sitting in the hot sun. It is a 45 minute trip. A woman near by saw me motioning to lift the crate out of the car and came to help. The pup was safely put in the shade for the trip. It’s vocalization’s shifted from whimpers, moans and the odd call to a sound that was more like a little lion, “Rawwwww!!!” The sound was wonderful to hear. The pup was more active in the crate to. Once ferry docked at Port McNeill, the crate was back in my car I hit the highway. I arrived at the Port Hardy Airport safely and brought the pup into the cargo area with the assistance of an airport worker. A cargo worker phoned Emily from the Marine Mammal Rescue Center and let her know we made it to the airport safely and that there was room for the crate on the plane. Emily had a back up plan in case there was no room on that flight the seal would go to the local Port Hardy vet overnight. She talked to the worker for awhile as I filled out forms. One of the workers came up to the crate and said aloud “I think we should name the pup Filomi after Filomi Days.” So the pup now had a name. Before I left I looked into the crate and saw a pup full of energy, fight and courage. What a contrast to the limp babe I held in my arms just hours before. The last thing I remember before we parted was it’s two eyes looking at me and the wonderful sound of “Rawwwww”. Once I got home I saw the tide was up past the rocks where the baby seal was trapped. I new it would not have lived. It was an amazing experience rescuing this little life. It took a team of strangers and friends to rescue it. What is very important is that I learned that I broke the law by touching a marine mammal without permission. There was no time to think of calling anyone but I will in the future if I am facing a similar situation. All of us need to make that call and speak with the Marine Mammal Rescue Center first and be advised to do what is best for the marine mammal. I know we did the right thing to rescue it despite. The pup is now safe and so I hear well fed. It was given a new name Isla Fisher. It is a little girl. For me the most important thing is not who gets to name the baby seal. Whether her name is Filomi or Isla is irrelevant. All I care about is that she lives. I want her to grow strong, to learn to forage for herself and one day is released back into the wild with other seals so she mate and have pups of her own. Thank you Marine Mammal Rescue Center for all your help. I will be making a few donations to help Isla and await word of her release. Take care and God Bless.

  2. Rest in peace, little angel. I’m so sorry that you didn’t get to live your life.

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