Experts say Mounties in North Saanich did the right thing by rescuing a malnourished seal pup that was abandoned by its mother.

Officers responding to a report found the female pup stranded on rocks at Chalet Beach around 5 p.m. on Aug. 10, according to RCMP.

They immediately contacted the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, which analyzed photos and video of the animal and determined that it needed help.

“The pup is really skinny and dehydrated, so she definitely did need to be rescued, and they did call us before they took her off the beach,” said aquarium spokeswoman Deanne Lancaster.

The pup, which has been named “Laki-Kai,” was transported to Wild ARC in Victoria and then flown to the rescue centre in Vancouver on Thursday.

Lancaster said the seal is alert and responsive “but very emaciated” and on formula.

She credited the Mounties who found it for doing the right thing by contacting experts before moving it off the beach.

“Seal pups stay with their moms for about a month or so and they’re nursing, so the healthiest option is for them to stay with their mothers in the ocean,” she said.

Often, people see seal pups on beaches alone while their mothers are hunting and mistake them as being in distress, said Lancaster, and taking it away from its mother can have dire consequences.

Baby seals can be abandoned if their mothers are new and have never had a pup before.

Lancaster said 114 seal pups have been rescued in similar situations this year.

Anyone who sees a seal pup in the wild is asked to refrain from touching it and call the rescue centre at 604-258-SEAL (7325).