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VANCOUVER - A tiny, premature seal pup is the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre's first patient of the year.

The little creature was found alone near a dock in Prince Rupert, and the May 1 rescue is the earliest on record for the centre.

The naming theme for 2019 seal pups is ocean-themed puns, and staff named the feisty black and white critter Dwayne 'The Rockfish' Johnson -- after the former WWE wrestler and movie star.

A news release says Dwayne has remnants of his umbilical cord still attached, and is covered in the soft fur of a premature pup.

The pup was seen alone all day on Wednesday, and was rescued after he appeared to be struggling to get out of the water.

The release says it took “many helping hands” and an “epic journey” to get Dwayne to the centre, and the pup is doing well after getting in fluids and nutrition.