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New documentary series goes inside B.C.’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at B.C.’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, now is your chance to find out.

Wild Pacific Rescue, a new three-part documentary series airing next week on Cottage Life Television, is set to give viewers a new insight into the organization’s work — from the province’s wild Pacific coast to the veterinary operating room table.

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Marathon attempt to save Nanaimo sea lion caught on camera

The Vancouver Aquarium’s rescue centre saves more than 100 marine mammals each year and rehabilitates them at its facility near Crab Park before releasing them back into the wild.

Director Michael Sheehan was given exclusive access to the team and its facilities to document their work.

Click to play video: Seal pups rescued by Vancouver’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre released into the wild

“What you have are beautiful animals in a really gorgeous part of the world that everybody recognizes as something really special,” he said.

“Production companies can’t normally see the kinds of things that we were able to see — you’re not allowed to go out and film this stuff just because there are rules in place to keep people away from these animals in distress out on the coast, and we were just so fortunate to get the chance to be there right on the front line.”

Viewers will get to meet some of the animals recovering at the centre, like Quatse, a baby sea otter found isolated and unconscious near Port Hardy.

They’ll also ride along into the field with the centre’s Sea Lion Disentanglement Program.

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Tiny baby sea otter receiving around-the-clock care at marine rescue centre

“Which involves remotely injecting with a dart gun animals that have been entangled in all sorts of garbage, that are slowly dying, slowly suffering from that garbage and that entanglement,” Vancouver Aquarium head veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena said.

“When it works, it’s just the best feeling in the world … I’m really excited to show people that sort of stuff.”

You can find out more about the series, which premieres April 14, on its website.

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