Kaouk

Kaouk, the trailer park sea lion returned to the wild

Kaouk, Port Alice’s “Trailer Park Sea Lion”, has been released back into the wild and appears to be feasting on herring. He also has quite the human following.

Kaouk, Port Alice’s “Trailer Park Sea Lion”, has been released back into the wild and appears to be feasting on herring. He also has quite the human following.

Kaouk is the male Steller sea lion that baffled residents by walking 300 metres to enter Port Alice trailer park on Dec. 16. DFO and RCMP responded and because Kaouk appeared malnourished (and too interested in humans), Pacific Coastal generously flew him to the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre (MMR). He rehabilitated very well, even doubling in weight in his three months there.

Kaouk inspired the students of Port Alice to write a children’s book to fund marine mammal rescue and research and, on Mar. 17 was reintroduced into the wild from Toquart Bay on southwestern Vancouver Island, near Barkley Sound.

This location was chosen for its ease of access (Kaouk could be released from land) and because an abundant run of herring was known to be in the area. There are other juvenile Steller sea lions nearby and, very significantly, it’s a long way to the Port Alice trailer park!

In all the wonderful work done by MMR, Kaouk’s rescue and release back into the wild is a first for them and maybe even for British Columbia. Never before have we humans come together like this to make the effort to rescue and release a Steller sea lion (a species protected under Canada’s Species at Risk Act).

Kaouk continues to be quite the marine ambassador, offering us the opportunity to learn about his species, his rescue and release, and by being the “test case” for justifying this effort for other sea lions.

For these reasons, and to ensure he is safe and staying wild, Kaouk was satellite tagged. These tags are applied with epoxy and will fall off when Kaouk moults (sometime after June).

DFO and MMR have made this data publicly available so that we can all follow this next chapter in Kaouk’s progress. In his first three days back in the wild, he has crisscrossed through more than 28 km and appears not even to have gone ashore in that time!

You can access his tracking data, photographs, video of his release, and further information from Vancouver Aquarium’s MMR via www.themarinedetective.ca. (Note that this data is not as refined as that available to DFO and there is a day’s lag time in the uploading of locations.)

Jackie Hildering is a biologist, avid scuba diver, and marine educator who lives in Port McNeill.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Island wide crime spree leads to multiple charges against Cowichan Valley resident

Social Media and citizens of the North Island played a big role in solving the case.

Port Hardy council stands with Marine Harvest

Mayor and council went out on the water to experience local aquaculture firsthand.

Marine Harvest Upper Island Riptide U18 Girls bring home provincial gold

“This has been an extra-ordinary season with a diverse group of young ladies…”

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

Port Alice considers taking back Link River

Village debates not renewing agreement with RDMW

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Island wide crime spree leads to multiple charges against Cowichan Valley resident

Social Media and citizens of the North Island played a big role in solving the case.

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

Cops for Cancer tees it up at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club

The Cops for Cancer annual golf tournament had 10 teams signed up with roughly 40 competitors.

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Most Read