Rescuing a Stranded Seal with Injuries - WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS

Hi all,

It was a busy day in the field today. This morning we received a call from a person on Humarock Beach in Scituate, Mass. who found a stranded seal. For any of you who have followed this blog you know that seals commonly come out of the water to rest on shore and are often not injured or "stranded." As always it's important to keep your distance and observe the seal without disturbing it. You can report a seal you think is stranded by calling the 24-hour Marine Animal Hotline: (617) 973-5247.

The Rescue Team will not approach these seals unless there is an obvious injury. This seal, however, did have an injury and was lethargic. The following pictures show what that looks like.

Photos above were taken by Donald Armstrong. I authorized Donald to approach this
seal for good photographs, which I then used to make the decision to collect the animal. (Click to enlarge)

Photo by Donald Armstrong. In this photo you can see the blood around the lower jaw and dribbling down the chest of the animal.

Kate and New England Aquarium Veterinarian Dr. Julie Cavin took a team down to assess the animal and determined that it did need to be collected. They collected it and performed a physical exam, including blood collection and analysis. It was difficult to determine the source of the blood since there was a significant amount of it.

The seal was kenneled after the exam and transported to the University of New England (UNE) Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center. The seal will undergo a series of diagnostics over the next several says to determine the cause of the wounds and its overall health. Our network partners at UNE will have their work cut out for them with this case. We'll keep you posted on her condition (yes it is a little female).

- Connie


1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for the work you do - so often, creatures are left to expire, and the world is a little bereft because of their passing. Thanks, Donald, and all of the folks at the Aquarium. Let's hope that our lady seal recovers.