Three survivor seal pups released into the ocean
After being rescued by our diligent partners at Marine Mammals of Maine (MMoME) and months of rehab, close monitoring, and care, three lucky seals have been successfully released back into the wilds of Rhode Island.
Last week Pyrite, Beryl, and Ivory were all sent back to their ocean home after suffering a variety of hardships; some sadly caused by public interaction.
Pyrite, a male harbor seal pup was rescued at around 2 days old, after being found stranded in May of 2016.
In Pyrite’s case, curious people took their interest in the seal a step too far. Evidence was found of the pup having been picked up and handled by the public, possibly for selfies.
This type of interaction with a young pup can cause a permanent rift between the young one and its mother, potentially meaning death for the seal. This is one of the reasons that contact between the public and any seal is outlawed by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
When Pyrite was found in the same spot the next morning, he was rescued and brought to the MMoME triage center, where he was treated for 3 days.
Beryl, another male harbor seal, was found stranded in August of 2016. In Beryl’s case, there was also evidence of mishandling by the public who attempted to push him back into the water a handful of times. He was found exhausted and very thin.
Throughout his rescue and rehabilitation, Beryl fought through an upper respiratory infection, many small punctures and abscesses over body, and dehydration.
Ivory, a female harbor seal, was also found stranded in August of 2016. Ivory’s exam showed injuries in her mouth, exhaustion, and high temperature.
Her care at the MMoME triage center included immediate antibiotic IV fluid treatment, and a safe, quiet place to rest. After a few days she was much stronger and was transported to Mystic Aquarium for rehabilitation.
Thanks to the quick and skillful work of the teams at MMoME and Mystic Aquarium, Pyrite, Beryl, and Ivory were able to continue their lives in the wild.
We encourage people to keep their distance from animals found on the beach in compliance with the MMPA and to contact their local rescue organization. When we leave the rescues to the professionals, we avoid creating more complications for those animals already suffering through tough situations and allow for them to one day continue their lives in the wild.
You can contact MMoME rescue hotline at (1-800-532-9551). and you can find the NOAA’s US stranding networks at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/health/report.htm.