First Seal Rescue of 2016

Posted on February 21, 2016


Ashley Stokes  |  NH Marine Mammal Rescue Coordinator

This past weekend the MMRT had it’s first report of a gray seal pup in 2016. This adorable little guy was spotted in Fort Stark (New Castle, NH) way above the high tide line and close to the dirt parking lot on Saturday morning (February 20th). Despite being very thin, he was “BAR” (bright, alert, responsive), aggressive on approach which is typical of gray seals, and didn’t have any evidence of respiratory infection or any other significant wounds/injury. With that, we decided to place him on “24 hour monitoring” to see what the following morning brought. He was monitored by volunteers throughout the afternoon, since that’s an area heavily frequented by people and dogs, and he was left at dark (with signage and perimeter tape).

Seal Armstrong Day 1 (2)
Big yawn!

Early the next morning a volunteer found him in the same area and he hadn’t moved around much overnight. He was now “QAR” (quiet, alert, responsive) and more lethargic. After high tide came and went, we decided to seek rehabilitation for him, since his nutritional state was so poor. That afternoon we removed him from the beach and he was transported to National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay, MA

Seal Armstrong Day 1
Day 1. You can clearly see that this animal is very thin, despite all of his skin rolls! But he is bright and alert.
Seal Armstrong Rescue
Day 2. The seal was more lethargic, and again you can clearly see his hip bones. He also still had some patches of white lanugo fur, which gray seals are born with and shed a few weeks later. MMRT volunteers in place between the seal and the water with herder boards, before staff move in to kennel the animal.
Seal Armstrong post rescue
MMRT staff and volunteers after a successful capture, before hitting the road for the transport to rehabilitation.
Seal Armstrong rehab exam
Once at rehabilitation, he was given a thorough admit examination and then given fluids and a much needed tube feeding.

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