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On February 23rd we received a call for a large adult male Harp seal hauled out on the beach in Lavallette. The seal's behavior on the beach was observed for 24 hours by MMSC staff and certified Stranding Volunteers local to the area. When the seal didn't move on the next day and showed evidence of consuming sand, MMSC's Stranding Technicians returned the next afternoon on February 24th to capture the seal. With the help of volunteers and the Department of Public Works, the large seal was loaded into the Stranding truck and transported to MMSC. Once admitted into the hospital, staff began supportive care via tube feeding a mixture of formula and electrolytes to rehydrate the seal, and started treatment to flush the sand out of his system with fluids and mineral oil. The seal's intake weight was 150.8 lbs. He is currently resting comfortably in Pen D of the ICU and has already started eating fish on his own. Since Harp seals are an Arctic species that are used to consuming ice and snow for supplemental hydration, we are also supplying our new patient with piles of ice for his comfort.
On February 22nd we received a call for a seal pup lying on the beach at Allen Ave. in Allenhurst. The female Grey seal pup was very thin and lethargic. She was transported to MMSC where she was given supportive care via tube feeding a mixture of formula and electrolytes. The pup's intake weight was 32.4 lbs. She is currently resting comfortably in Pen 4 of the Pool House.
On February 21st at 4:00am we received a call for a seal pup lying on the beach near the Ocean Casino in Atlantic City. The male Grey seal pup was suffering from multiple injuries, including a severe laceration on his left rear flipper, and several smaller lacerations and punctures to his right front flipper and shoulder. The seal was transported to MMSC where he was given first aid for his wounds and supportive care via tube feeding a mixture of formula and electrolytes. The pups’ intake weight was 43.2 lbs. He is currently resting comfortably in Pen A of the ICU in guarded condition.
Grey seal #24-020 where he was found stranded in front of Ocean Casino.
On February 18th we received a call for a seal pup lying on the beach in Ship Bottom. The male Grey seal pup’s overall body condition was thin. The pup was immediately transported to MMSC where he was given supportive care via tube feeding a mixture of formula and electrolytes. The pup's intake weight was 26.6 lbs. , making him the smallest seal admitted so far this season. He is currently resting comfortably in Pen 3 of the Pool House.
On February 15th at 4:30pm we received an urgent call for an entangled seal in Beach Haven. When our Stranding Team arrived, they discovered a seal pup entangled around the neck by the plastic overwrap from a case of bottled water. The female Grey seal was immediately transported to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center where the entanglement was removed. Fortunately, the plastic had not yet started to cut into the seal’s neck. The pup’s body overall condition was thin, she was lethargic and suffering from gastrointestinal issues. MMSC’s veterinarian performed a full medical examination, and blood panels have been submitted to check for any underlying medical conditions and guide the treatment plan. She was given supportive care via tube feeding a mixture of formula and electrolytes. The pups’ intake weight was 38.2lbs. She is currently resting comfortably in Pen 2 of the Pool House.
Grey seal #24-012 stranded in Beach Haven, entangled in plastic.
On February 15th this male Grey seal pup was found on the North End of Brigantine Beach close to the dunes. He is still 80% covered in lanugo (birth coat) and is estimated to be 2-3 weeks old. This pup likely did not learn how to eat on his own after being weaned from his mother, or was weaned too early. 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 pup wasn't successfully feeding himself, so he dropped back down to close to birth weight by the time he completed his 400+ mile marathon swim from the pupping grounds in New England to New Jersey. Once he arrived at the Center the Stranding Technicians immediately gave the hungry pup supportive care via tube feeding a mixture of formula and electrolytes. His intake weight was 35.2lbs. He is currently resting comfortably in Pen 1 of the Pool House.
This female Grey seal was found stranded on the beach in Sea Isle City at 66th Street on Valentine’s Day. She was wheezing, and suffering from numerous small wounds across her face, flippers, and body. Although her weight is good for her age, she requires medical attention for her respiratory infection and wounds. She was immediately transported to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center for a medical examination and admitted. The young seal was given supportive care via tube feeding a mixture of formula and electrolytes. Her intake weight was 42.8lbs. She is currently resting comfortably in Tub 6 of the Quonset Hut.
On February Feb. 12th this male Grey seal stranded on the beach at 36th Street in Sea Isle City. He had mucous around his eyes, and several abrasions on his body and his nostrils. He was brought to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center for a medical examination and admitted. The pup was given supportive care via tube feeding a mixture of formula and electrolytes for hydration. The Stranding Technicians are currently assist-feeding his diet of fish. His intake weight was 44lbs. This morning our new patient is resting comfortably in Tub 5 of the Hut.
Update 2/13/24- This pup came in at a good weight for age but required treatment for a respiratory infection. He is currently quite aggressive, which is something we like to see in these wild animals! He is currently being assist-fed 3lbs of fish daily.
On February Feb. 8th this male Grey seal was found in Seaside Park (Island Beach State Park) near the inlet jetty. A trained MMSC volunteer local to the area was dispatched to help assess the pup's condition, and his behavior was observed overnight. When the seal didn't leave the beach by the next day, MMSC staff responded on February 9th to transport him to MMSC. This pup had an eventful transport as 20 miles from the Center the Stranding truck blew a transmission line on the Garden State Parkway. Fortunately the Stranding Technician was quickly able to find a wide shoulder and pulled over safely. MMSC's Stranding Coordinator immediately responded to the scene in our other Stranding truck. With the help of the New Jersey State Troopers, the seal, who was still sleeping in his crate, was safely transferred to the second truck and continued on to MMSC.
Once he arrived at the Center, he was examined and given supportive care via tube feeding a mixture of formula and electrolytes for hydration. He was underweight and has a small wound on the side of his head. As with most of the pups that have been admitted recently, he is approximately 4–6-weeks old. The Stranding Technicians are currently assist-feeding his diet of fish. His intake weight was 36lbs. This morning our new patient is resting comfortably in Pen B.
Update 2/13/24- This pup is shredding and mouthing fish, but still requires assist feeding. His diet is currently 2.5lbs of herring and mackerel daily.
On February 8th the MERR Institute of Delaware responded to this female Grey seal that had come ashore in front of Sea Colony in Bethany Beach. Although she was alert and active, she was very underweight. She was monitored throughout the day, and the decision was made to rescue her on the morning of Feb. 9th. She was transported to MMSC for rehabilitation. The 4–6-week-old seal was admitted to the ICU. Upon being admitted, she was examined and given supportive care via tube feeding a mixture of formula and electrolyte solution for hydration. The Stranding Technicians are currently assist-feeding her diet of fish. Her intake weight was 28.8lbs. This morning our new patient is resting comfortably in Pen D.
Update 2/13/24- She is currently being treated for a slight respiratory infection, and currently being assist-fed 2.5lbs of fish daily. She is starting to show interest in foraging by playing with fish in her pool.
On Friday January 12th shortly before 10pm, a jogger discovered a seal pup lying on the sidewalk at Baltimore Avenue in Point Pleasant beach. The young female Grey seal had likely breached the flooded bulkhead at Lake Louise during the coastal storm, and soon made her way to the middle of the road. Two MMSC Stranding Staff members immediately responded from Brigantine as the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department kept the seal pup safe until they arrived.
Traveling during the height of the storm, the team arrived back at the MMSC with the seal at 1:30am. The pup was moved into Pen C of the Intensive Care Unit, where she was given supportive care via tube feeding a mixture of formula and electrolyte solution for hydration.
MMSC’s veterinarian performed a full medical examination, and blood panels have been submitted to check for any underlying medical conditions and guide the treatment plan. The pup is lethargic, and her overall body condition is very thin, with an intake weight of only 27.4 lbs. She is still partially covered by her white birthing coat (lanugo), so we are estimating her age to be approximately 4 weeks old. The Technicians are currently assist-feeding fish, as well as tube-feeding fluids to maintain her hydration levels, as the pup is not yet eating on her own. Currently the pup is in guarded condition, and we will know more about her prognosis in the days ahead.
Update 1/24/24- The pup is starting to show signs of improvement in the hospital. She is a little more active and alert than when she was first admitted, and is able to enjoy more supervised swim time throughout the day. The seal is not yet eating on her own, but as you can see in this video, she is starting to show interest in food. She has started mouthing and tearing apart fish in the water, which is a normal behavior as pups begin learning to forage on their own. The Technicians continue to assist-feed her 2.5lbs of fish daily, however she no longer requires a supplemental tube feeding of formula and electrolytes as her hydration levels are back to normal.
Update 1/29/24- We are very happy to share that the seal has started to eat on her own! She is currently eating 4.5lbs of herring, mackerel and capelin every day without assistance, and will soon be getting another increase in her diet.
Update 2/13/14- We are happy to say that after a slow start, she is now eating 9lbs of fish daily on her own. She continues to gain weight during her treatment.