Just Trying To Help | 2nd August 2011 | 16:42 PDT

There I was, minding my own businesses paddle-boarding in the sunshine down False Creek around Science World and I notice this movement in the water that wasn't a wake, bird, fish, drowning man overboard.

I row nearer to the disturbance to get a closer look. Aww, it's a baby seal! - Wasn't fluffy though so probably was an adult seal.

*Like a kiss from a rose on the grey* (via flickriver.com)

Using my years of training to read animals and their expressions (none) something doesn't feel right, I sensed it seemed lost, confused and a bit distressed from being at the bottom of False Creek swimming around these massive boats around the marina in this filthy diesel drenched water which I imagined was fishless. I feared that he could be run over by a yacht or lost or simply couldn't find its way out.

I told someone about my sighting and told me to phone the Sea Animal Saving Society Rescue Helpline People (that's not the name of their organisation, as I can't remember what it is actually called)

“Hi, I wanted to report a seal that looked a bit distressed”
“Oh ok, let me get a pen and paper... Right, can you describe what you saw?”
“Yeah, I was paddle boarding down False Creek and I saw this seal looking a bit distressed”
“Oh ok, was it on the shore looking in pain?”
“No, it was in water – swimming around, it looked lost”
“You know seals belong in water, right?”
“Yes, I know they belong in water”
“What did it look like?”
“A seal, a baby, no hair though, looked quite small but I only saw its head"
“Was it yelping out?”
“No, but it was by these big boats and could've been stuck down the end of False Creek without knowing how to get out”
“It's not uncommon for seals to be in all types of water, even False Creek”
“Oh ok...” deflated “Was only trying to help”
“We appreciate your help, but the seal should be fine”
I wanted to say “But you can't read animals like I can!!”
Instead I went with “I know, but I've never seen one down there and I was concerned for its safety”
“Well, I'll take down your details and if you notice the seal drags itself to shore and has noticeable wounds on it, phone back”

But can I just say?... Oh... Ok then... I get the message... hmmm (via thepoliticalcarnival.net)

I may phone back  in a few days to say
“You know that seal I phoned about? I saw it again! ... It's dead ... Let that rest on your conscience ... forever ...”

Regardless that's the last time I try and save an animal again using other people. Next time, I'll entice it onto my paddle board and paddle it back to safety. I'd high-five it before releasing it back into open waters, before waving off happy into the sunset.

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