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Learn about some of the most interesting cases MMSC has encountered during previous seal seasons. Each seal's gallery includes updates and photos from their time in our hospital and their release.
#21-053 is a female harp seal that stranded in Longport, NJ on April 17th. When we arrived we found her hauled out on a very crowded beach. Due to the number of people and dogs approaching her too closely, she was brought back to the MMSC for observation. Fortunately she weighed a healthy 64lbs, and soon began to eat fish on her own.
Update April 27th- After two weeks of rest Harp seal #21-053 was ready for release. She was marked #2 with a non-toxic livestock marker and released at Sandy Hook Gateway National Park.
Harp seal #21-053 resting in the Quonset Hut
#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.
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
#21-010 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.