Lately we’ve had a few of those happiest of days, release days! Sending seals back to the wild to thrive truly fills us with joy and are outcomes that we love to share with all of you. But, not all of what we do leads to these types of happy endings. One reader responded to a recent email update that we failed to mention the number of our responses that are to deceased animals, which is a vital component of our work. We learn from all of our cases and collect valuable data that help illuminate the kinds of stressors, both environmental and those due to humans, that are impacting Maine’s marine mammals and sea turtles. Responding to all types of scenarios also requires us to make decisions in the best interest of animals to alleviate suffering. Read on below for more info on what we’ve been up to over the past few months and what’s coming up.
Earlier this summer the response pictured above took place in Spruce Head, Maine when an injured gray seal was reported to our hotline. With help from two individuals who happened to be nearby, our response team was able to safely collect the seal. Her wounds were extensive, however and it was clear the most humane thing we could do was free her of further pain and suffering. This kind of rescue is just as important as providing life-saving care to those that can be rehabilitated.
While this is not the traditional happy ending rescue story that we all prefer, we are grateful to have been able to rescue and help this seal in exactly the way she needed.
We remain grateful to our supporters who directly enable us to prevent suffering in cases like this, ensuring there is a team of experts always available to provide help, in whatever form is needed.
Back to the Ocean!
Since our last update we’ve been able to release five of our harbor seal pup patients back to the ocean. These pups were all ready to go home during a time of year when Maine’s beaches are still very busy and as a result we’ve had private releases in the best of interest of successful send-offs. These seals entered our care after being in the wild for only a short period of time, some less than 24 hours. As a result, we take extra care when reintroducing them to the wild by selecting quieter beaches where they can safely re-acclimate without disturbance while they adjust to life in the wild again. We’re grateful to the landowners who have allowed us to use quiet areas to send these seals home. Their id and locations where they were collected for rehab are:
Number 39, Harpswell
COA 1, Castine
Number 60, Phippsburg
Number 69, Hurricane Island
SSC 63, Salisbury, MA
Keep an eye out for more release updates in the coming weeks as we still have two harbor seals receiving care and getting stronger every day!