A female Northern elephant seal rescued from Esquimalt by staff at the Vancouver Aquarium has been re-released into the ocean near Sooke.

Staff from the Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre travelled to Vancouver Island to release Cow, who was rescued on April 6 after being found stranded on Rainbow Beach.

The seal was diagnosed with skin disease and prescribed antibiotics.

After more than six weeks of rehabilitation, Cow began to eat on her own and had gained weight. Her ulcers were also healed and her hair had grown back.

“Once Cow made her way independently from the beach into the water, she began to swim right away,” said Lindsaye Akhurst, a co-ordinator at the rescue centre.

“Her head popped out of the water as she swam, and this is maybe the last time we’ll ever see her again.”