Mystic, Conn. (July 21, 2017): Thanks to the recent heat wave, state beaches have been the site of big crowds over the last few days. A much smaller group; however, was found at Monahan’s Dock near Narragansett Beach this morning.
A handful of staff and volunteers of Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program gathered to send-off a pair of rehabilitated seals. Keeping with the program’s 2017 naming-theme of ‘flowers’, Petunia and Johnny Jump Up were released back to the open ocean after receiving compassionate and specialized care from Mystic Aquarium’s animal care professionals.
Petunia, an approximately 16-month old female harp seal, was rescued in Scarborough, ME, by the Marine Mammals of Maine. She was transferred to Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Clinic on May 13, where she was treated for multiple wounds and pneumonia. Weighing in at 24kg when admitted, Petunia was 32.0kg upon release.
Johnny Jump Up, an approximately 6 month old male gray seal, was rescued in Sandwich, MA, by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). He was transferred to the Animal Rescue Clinic on May 4, 2017 for rehabilitation for a severe infection and entanglement wounds.
While fully recovered, Johnny Jump Up still shows the scars of this entanglement. He is a sad reminder of the consequences of marine debris, which can remain in Long Island Sound for up to 600 years causing harm to whales, turtles, seals and more.
Mystic Aquarium is a proud supporter of both the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP), a collaboration of 19 U.S. aquariums that have joined forces to address plastic pollution and Long Island Sound Public Education Campaign, #Don’tTrashLISound.
“We want something positive to come out of this terrible situation for this gray seal,” said Janelle Schuh, Stranding Coordinator for Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program. “Upon hearing this story, we hope people feel compelled to take action. It is as simple as picking up litter found at the beach or making an effort to properly dispose of fishing line. Every day decisions can help tremendously- skip the straw, opt for a reusable bag. It all makes a difference.”
There are even fun ways to help protect the ocean planet. Mystic Aquarium will host Seals on the Rocks on July 28 from 7:00 – 9:30pm. The annual fundraiser in support of Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program promises a summer evening of fun featuring Tapas ‘n’ Taps, a delicious selection of tapas and beer, and live music by The Dirty Dottys. More information is available by visiting the events tab on MysticAquarium.org.
ABOUT MYSTIC AQUARIUM’S ANIMAL RESCUE PROGRAM
Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program supports animals in need and educates the public about the marine environment and its inhabitants. The public is encouraged to call the Aquarium’s 24-hour hotline at 860.572.5955 ext. 107 if they encounter a marine mammal or sea turtle in Conn., R.I. or Fishers Island, N.Y. Mystic Aquarium is a founding member of the Northeast Region Stranding Network. This network is comprised of organizations along the eastern sea coast which have facilities and trained staff to care for sick and injured animals. Marine Mammals are protected species, so only groups and facilities authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service are permitted to handle these animals.
ABOUT MYSTIC AQUARIUM
Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only belugas. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. The mission of Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research. Mystic Aquarium receives major support from The Coca-Cola Company, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Resorts World Sentosa and United Technologies Corporation. Learn more at MysticAquarium.org.
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