From Local RI Shores to North Carolina and Alaska, Mystic Aquarium Works to Care for Marine Animals in Need
Mystic, Conn. (October 20, 2017) – This morning, Blue Shutters Beach in Charlestown, RI was greeted by the warm sun, calm surf and encouraging crowd as Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program released four harbor seals. The four harbor seal pups – Flax, Larkspur, Sunflower and Buttercup _ were rescued by Marine Mammals of Maine before being transferred to Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Clinic.
Flax was rescued from Bustin’s Island, Freeport, ME, and was considered to be abandoned shortly after birth, arriving at Mystic Aquarium on May 28. Larkspur was rescued in Harpswell, ME, and Sunflower was rescued from Isle of Springs, ME. Both pups were also considered to be abandoned shortly after birth and arrived at Mystic Aquarium on June 1. Buttercup was rescued in Little Diamond Island, Portland, ME, and was found malnourished and suffering from pneumonia, arriving at Mystic Aquarium on July 15.
Following months of rehabilitation, the four pups, now approximately 4 – 5 months old, were deemed healthy and prepared for life at sea.
Mystic Aquarium’s animal care specialists have also been making waves in Alaska and North Carolina as well.
For the past two weeks, Carey Richard, Supervisor of Cetaceans and Pinnipeds, has been collaborating with staff from five other accredited facilities to provide 24-hour care to an orphaned beluga calf. After being found in Western Cook Inlet, Alaska on September 30, the calf was transported to the Alaska SeaLife Center under permit by NOAA. He has been receiving around-the-clock care from animal care experts with professional experience caring for beluga whales to ensure the calf has the very best chance at survival.
Earlier this week, Mystic Aquarium Aquarists Stephanie Golding and Samantha Poulin drove from Mystic Aquarium to North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores with a loggerhead sea turtle named Cedar in tow. Cedar had been in Mystic Aquarium’s care since October 2016 as part of North Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Awareness Program. Following a year of care, Cedar was released into North Carolina’s open ocean this past Wednesday.
To learn more about Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program or ways to support Mystic Aquarium’s mission to protect the ocean planet, visit 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 in 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.