Juvenile Harp Seal Expires

Posted on February 19, 2016


Ashley Stokes  |  NH Marine Mammal Rescue Coordinator

This past weekend we responded to a juvenile harp seal (winter visitor to the NH seacoast!) at Pirate’s Cove in Rye. In the morning he was pretty spunky and aggressive on approach, but he was eating sand and had some eye discharge. The plan was to remove him from the beach and take him to a rehabilitation facility, but he declined very rapidly later in the morning, and unfortunately expired on the beach. He was still collected however, to be used for scientific research through a necropsy (animal autopsy) and testing to try and determine what may have led to his demise. Special thanks to everyone that reported him, and to the volunteers that dedicated time monitoring him on the beach and educating the beach goers about him!

You can see from this photo in the morning, that he was alert and responsive, and his body condition was good, despite some eye discharge.


Data and measurements were then taken before removing the seal from the beach and transporting him to our colleagues at New England Aquarium for necropsy.

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