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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. Once a seal has been released, their release video and photos will be moved to the Recently Released Seals Gallery.
On February 12th we responded to a call for a seal pup lying in the middle of the 4x4 entrance to the North End of Brigantine. The pup was obscured in a tire rut, but fortunately an alert driver spotted her, blocking the path to protect her from getting run over until help arrived. The female Grey seal was immediately transported to the MMSC by our Stranding Technician. The pup was still partially covered with her white birth coat (lanugo) and weighed 28lbs. Upon examination, there was discharge from her eye and minor lacerations, so supportive care was started in our hospital. After several days of assist feeding, we are happy to say that she is now eating chunks of cut up fish on her own! She is also starting to show more interest in the head and tail pieces of the fish, so eating whole fish is the next step.
Grey seal #23-013 in Pen 2 of the Poolhouse
On February 5th this male Harbor seal was spotted on the beach in Long Branch with an open wound on his right front flipper, and lacerations on his right side. While we don't know exactly what caused his injuries, they were severe enough to require intervention. The injured seal was brought to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center where he was admitted into the ICU for supportive care. After our Veterinarian examined his wounds, a treatment plan was started to prevent infection. Despite his wounds, the approximately 1-2 year old seal is in good body condition, weighing in at 58lbs. This injured seal will stay in our hospital until his wounds have healed.
It is with heavy hearts we share that the male harbor seal from Long Branch that we have been caring for since February 5th has passed away. This seal stranded with a large open wound on his right front flipper, and lacerations on his right side. Although he initially showed signs of improvement, he did not fully regain his vigor and began to show signs of decline. Our veterinarian prescribed medications and liquid nutritional support. Despite the extraordinary efforts by our staff and veterinarians to nurse him back to health, he passed away on March 12th. A necropsy has been scheduled to help us further understand why he died. 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, volunteers and veterinarian for doing everything possible for this seal, and for keeping him comfortable in his final days. We know so many members of the public that were present when he stranded were hoping for his full recovery, and we want to thank all of you for caring about him.
Harbor seal #23-010 in the ICU
This male grey seal pup stranded at the beach entrance to the Holgate Natural Area on February 2nd. He was found resting near one of our "Give Seals Space" signs, so the person who found him knew exactly what to do! The pup was still partially covered with his white birth coat (lanugo) and had an injury on his left front flipper. Weighing only 30lbs, this pup is very underweight.
Life can be harsh for these little grey seal pups, who only nurse from their mothers for 2-3 weeks before they are weaned and completely on their own. After their mothers leave them, they must live off their fat reserves as they learn to hunt for fish on their own. Oftentimes the pups who haven't learned how to fend for themselves will strand on our beaches, malnourished and thin, and in need of medical intervention.
Fortunately, this pup was found by a kind person walking the beach, and one of our dedicated volunteers was dispatched to watch over the little seal until our Stranding Technician arrived to bring him back to the MMSC. Once the pup arrived at the Center, he was admitted into the ICU and given supportive care. He was examined by our Veterinarian and treatment was immediately started to prevent infection. We are happy to report that since his arrival, our new patient has started to eat on his own, and has even molted into his dark grey juvenile coat!
Update 3/13- Fully-recovered and weighing a healthy 67.6lbs, he was tagged #46 on his left rear flipper and released at Sandy Hook Gateway National Park.
Grey seal #23-009 on the beach in Holgate
This male grey seal pup was discovered on the beach at 48th Street in Avalon on February 1st. The pup was still covered in his white birthing coat (lanugo), so we are estimating his age to be approximately 4-5 weeks old. His intake weight was 36lbs.
This little pup likely did not learn how to eat on his own after being weaned from his 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 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 Maine to New Jersey.
Once the pup arrived at the Center, he was moved into the ICU and given supportive care with fluids and assist-feeding fish. He is being treated for a respiratory infection, and we are happy to share that he is now eating on his own! Over the course of the week, he has shed his white lanugo and is now sporting his black juvenile coat. This little pup will stay with us until he has recovered and gained weight before being released back into the wild.
Update 3/13- Fully-recovered and weighing a healthy 74.4lbs, he was tagged #45 on his left rear flipper and released at Sandy Hook Gateway National Park.
Grey seal #23-008 on the beach in Avalon. Note his white birthing coat (lanugo).
On December 28th we responded to a female Harbor seal discovered stranded on Monmouth Beach. She was wheezing and suffering from a laceration on her right side. The yearling, likely born last spring, was immediately transported to MMSC for supportive care and medical treatment. She weighed 42lbs when she was admitted into our hospital. She is currently resting in Pen A of the Intensive Care Unit and is eating well on her own. We are happy to report that she is responding well to treatment for her respiratory issues, and the wound on her side is beginning to heal.
Update 1/23- her respiratory issues have cleared up and the laceration has healed nicely. We are happy to report that this little seal has a BIG appetite, eating 9lbs of fish every day.
Update 2/6- Fully-recovered and weighing a healthy 74lbs, she was tagged #43 on her right rear flipper and released into Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, NJ.
Harbor seal #22-155 swimming in the ICU