Posts Tagged 'marine animals'

Rescued harbor seal is going home

Hastings strandingThis juvenile male harbor seal was stranded along the Atlantic coast of Maryland, in the town of Ocean City, on January 15, 2010. The Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) responded, and the seal was admitted to the National Aquarium for rehabilitation.

Upon admission, the seal was underweight, severely dehydrated, mildly emaciated, and medically compromised due to a wound behind the left front flipper. In addition to the wound, he was found to have an upper respiratory infection and a mild case of pneumonia at the time of being admitted for rehab.

The seal, called Hastings, was treated with antibiotics for several weeks, and his wound was treated every three days for two weeks. Hastings responded well to treatment and was soon interacting with enrichment devices, the animal equivalent of toys, and eagerly eating. While in rehab, Hastings gained nearly 20 pounds on a daily diet of herring and capelin. He is offered enrichment items to interact with, like frozen fishcicles and a holey bucket with fish inside, to encourage natural feeding behaviors.

Hastings

Tomorrow morning, a healthy Hastings will be returned to Ocean City for release back to his natural environment. The release is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., and will be broadcast live locally on WMAR-TV (Ch. 2).

Follow the Aquarium on Twitter (@NatlAquarium) for live tweets from the release, starting at 5 a.m. tomorrow.

Prior to release, MARP staff will affix a satellite transmitter to his fur, which will fall off when the seal molts (similar to when a dog sheds its fur). The transmitter will allow us to track and monitor the animal post-release, and will help scientists to understand the migration and feeding patterns of these animals.

Released loggerhead turtle travels on!

The Maryland Coast Dispatch, a local paper in Ocean City, Maryland, has reported that three deceased loggerhead turtles were found on the beaches of Ocean City last weekend. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recovered the turtles and biologists are currently  investigating each turtle for cause of death. We want to assure our followers that Flight and Release, the loggerhead turtle released by the National Aquarium at Assateague State Park in September, is not one of these turtles.Turtle in Water for blog

Flight and Release is being tracked through a satelite tag that was affixed to its shell prior to release. We are happy to report that the turtle has traveled over 130 miles since being released from the beach at Assateague. As of October 1st, the turtle was swimming off the coast of Virginia near the mouth of the Chesapeake.  You can track the turtle’s journey here

Marine animals strandings and recoveries are not uncommon along the coastal areas of Maryland. If the animal is alive, the National Aquarium responds to examine see if rescue and rehabilitation is needed.  The DNR responds when dead marine animals wash ashore and conduct research to determine a cause of death. The DNR maintains a 24-hour hotline that connects to Maryland Natural Resource Police (NRP) for private citizens who find sick, injured or deceased marine mammals on the beach. The number to call is 1-800-628-9944.

Click here to see more pictures of Flight and Release!


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