June 16 (UPI) -- Police in Canada made an unexpected rescue after finding a premature seal pup on a routine boat patrol Thursday.
A man flagged down Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in Coquitlam, British Columbia to alert them of the baby seal that appeared to have been abandoned by its mother for more than a day.
"We made a quick detour to the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Center," Cpl. Justin Abels said. "The staff there named the pup 'Fort St. James' and said it looks like he was premature and only a day or two old. Now the staff will do their best to rehabilitate Fort St. James over the next two months before releasing him into the wild."
Police shared video of the baby seal after it was rescued, showing matted fur and wounds near its face.
"The pup definitely needed some food and it had a few superficial abrasions," Cpl. Michael McLaughlin told Global News. "It was in pretty rough shape, but nothing that we don't think the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre can help out with."
Police said the rescue was a rare situation and urged anyone who encounters a seal pup alone to not assume it is abandoned, but provide the animal with space and time for its mother to return.