With his teeth grown in and tail straight, Jack a rescued baby harbour porpoise, has made remarkable progress in his rehabilitation, said staff at Vancouver's Marine Mammal and Rescue Centre (MMRC) Thursday.
Now in the sixth week since his rescue from Horseshoe Bay, Jack still requires around the clock care from staff and volunteers but swims for 20 hours a day without the aid of his sling. It is a vast improvement from the brief 45-minute swims he could only manage several times a day last month.
“There are still a couple more milestones to go,” said Lindsaye Akhurst, manager at the MMRC. “The next biggest thing will be reducing night feeds so he doesn’t need 24 hour care and then weaning him off the formula.”
Jack is fed a liquid fish and vitamin formula every two to three hours. Soon thawed herring will be introduced to his diet.
Staff say that they have found the notes about previous patient Daisy, a porpoise rescued three years ago currently housed in the Vancouver Aquarium, very useful to Jack’s rehab. Daisy and Jack were the around the same age and weight at the time when they were rescued and have followed similar feeding schedules and water temperature adjustments.
“If we compare them at day 42, they have very similar progress in weight gained and strength but they are very different in personality,” said Akhurst.
“Daisy was very well mannered. She’d come up to feed very politely but Jack is much more bratty. It’s nice to see that fight in him though”.