Learn more about the seals we are currently caring for at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. Updates and photos will be added to each seal's gallery throughout their rehabilitation and release.
#21-051 is a male grey seal that stranded in Brigantine, NJ on April 16th. When we arrived we discovered that the pup had two flipper tags- one orange and one yellow. Once we got the pup settled into our ICU, we reached out to colleagues to identify him. We soon learned this pup was born on December 26, 2020 on Sable Island in Nova Scotia, a protected island known for its populations of wild horses, marine birds and breeding colonies of harbor and grey seals. The pup was tagged as a part of a research project studying the population dynamics of grey seals. The yellow tag identified him as Seal #9185, and the orange tag was a sighting aid. This pup was weaned 17 days after he was born on January 12th. The researcher leading the study noted that this particular pup was "a bugger to find and follow" since he moved very quickly away from his birth place. The precocious pup eventually eluded the research team all together, which is why he is still wearing his tags (after the pups "graduated" from the study they had their tags removed). No one knows for sure when he left Sable Island to make his 900 mile swim to Brigantine, or how long it took the now four-month old seal to get here. The pup is currently resting in our ICU while being treated for an abscess on his rear flipper, which is beginning to heal.
Update May 14, 2021- Grey seal #21-051 was moved to our 30' exercise pool to build up his muscles and increase his endurance in preparation for release. An underwater video of one of his feedings can be seen in the Rehabilitation Videos gallery below.
Update May 24th- Grey seal #21-051, now weighing in at 66lbs, was tagged #32 and released at Sandy Hook Gateway National Park.
Grey seal #21-051 in the Quonset Hut shortly after his arrival at the MMSC
#21-050 is a female grey seal pup who stranded on the beach in Ship Bottom, NJ on April 14th. She was observed to be very lethargic and weighed in at 36lbs.
Once she arrived at the Center, she was moved to our ICU and given supportive care. The little seal is currently in "Fish School" and has learned to capture and eat live fish offered by our Technicians.
Update May 12th-
It is with heavy hearts we share that the Grey seal #21-050 has passed away. The seal stranded weighing only 36lbs, and although she initially showed interest in eating, she did not fully regain her vigor and began to show signs of decline. Our team of veterinarians prescribed medications and liquid nutritional support. Diagnostic procedures, including bloodwork, x-rays, ultrasound and endoscopy were performed to further assess her condition. Despite the extraordinary efforts by our staff and veterinarians to nurse her back to health, she passed away on May 5th. The results of her necropsy indicated that she succumbed to a severe respiratory infection. This is always the hardest part of animal rescue, while we know we can’t save them all, every loss still hurts. Thank you to our dedicated staff and MMSC veterinarian Dr. Hubert Paluch for doing everything possible for this little seal. We want to thank Dr. Matt Edson and his staff from Rancocas Veterinary Associates for coming to the MMSC with their specialized portable equipment to perform critical diagnostic procedures.
#21-050 recovering in the ICU
#21-016 is a female grey seal pup who was observed to be very lethargic on the beach in Strathmere, NJ on March 19th. We were able to identify her as one of the many seals we have had to relocate this season due to crowds by the temporary mark we put on top of her head. Since this seal re-stranded, we took her in for observation.
Once the pup arrived at the Center, she was moved to our ICU and given supportive care. Her intake weight was 40lbs. The little seal has since perked up and is now eating on her own- the first steps on her road to recovery!
Update April 14, 2021- Grey seal #21-016 was moved to our 30' exercise pool to build up her muscles and increase her endurance in preparation for release. A video of her first swim can be seen in the Rehabilitation Videos gallery below.
Update April 26th- Grey seal #21-016, now weighing in at 62lbs, was tagged #31 and released at Sandy Hook Gateway National Park.
Grey seal #21-016 recovering in the ICU
#21-010 is a female grey seal pup. She stranded in Belmar, NJ on February 11th, with small puncture wounds to her left front flipper and is very underweight, weighing only 32.4lbs.
This pup is less than two months old, and likely did not learn how to eat on her own after being weaned from her mother. Grey seals only nurse for about two weeks, and once weaned they are completely independent. Grey seal pups weigh about 30-35lbs when they are born, and by the time they are weaned they can triple their body weight. The pups will live off of their fat reserves as they learn to hunt for fish on their own. It seems this little one wasn't successfully feeding herself, so she dropped back down to close to birth weight.
After offering the pup live minnows in her pool, her instincts finally kicked in and initiated a feeding response. We are happy to report that #21-010 is already eating on her own! This little pup will stay with us until she gains some more weight before being released.
Update March 22nd- Grey seal #21-010 was moved to our 30' exercise pool to build up her muscles and increase her endurance in preparation for release.
Update April 5th- Grey seal #21-010, now weighing in at 60lbs, was tagged #30 and released at Sandy Hook Gateway National Park.
Grey seal #21-010 when she first arrived at the Center, resting in one of the Quonset hut tubs.
#21-008 is a yearling male Harbor seal. He stranded in Strathmere, NJ on February 4th, suffering from a large bleeding wound under his left front flipper, and an open injury to the same flipper, severely impacting one of the digits.
Our veterinarian feels the large wound under his flipper actually started out as a smaller injury that became infected, and as the infection spread it affected a much larger area of tissue. Our veterinarian was able surgically remove the affected digit , preserving the use of his front flipper. The missing digit will not impact his ability to catch fish, eat, haul out or evade predators. The large wound on his side is also healing very well.
Harbor seal #21-008 is now eating on his own and is gaining weight. We anticipate that he will be a good candidate for release in about one month.
Update March 22nd- Harbor seal #21-008 was moved to our 30' exercise pool to build up his muscles and increase his endurance in preparation for release.
Update April 5th- Harbor seal #21-008, now weighing in at 70lbs, was tagged #29 and released at Sandy Hook Gateway National Park.
Harbor seal #21-008 relaxing in the ICU after his procedure to remove the badly damaged digit on his left front flipper. The large open wound on his side has been cleaned and is healing nicely.
Watch Grey Seal #21-051 eat from a new perspective! Watch until the end when he notices the camera!
Time to stretch her flippers! Today was a big day for our little grey seal from Strathmere as she graduated to our 30-foot exercise pool! This is the next step in her rehabilitation, bringing her closer to her release back into the wild as she builds up those swimming muscles and increases her endurance. Happy graduation day, #21-016!!!!
We have great news, two of our patients have graduated from the ICU to the pool this week! Watch our Strathmere harbor seal (#21-008) and Belmar grey seal (#21-010) move into their new digs.