Marine Mammals of Maine Join Release in Light of Unusual Mortality Event
Mystic, Conn. (October 15, 2018) – Earlier this morning, Mystic Aquarium, in collaboration with Marine Mammals of Maine (MMoME) and Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, released six harbor seals in Charlestown, RI. Each seal was rescued in Maine by MMoME as a pup and was considered to have been abandoned shortly after birth.
Rescued in Cape Elizabeth, Kauai was admitted to the Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Clinic on May 22 and was estimated to be about a week old. He weighed more than 50 pounds on release day. Arriving a few days later on May 29, Bear was rescued in Old Orchard Beach and was estimated to be about 10 days old. His release day weight was more than 60 pounds.
Also estimated to be about 10 days old when rescued in South Portland, Bimini was admitted to the Clinic on June 4. Her weight on release day was close to 55 pounds. Tigres was found in Yarmouth and was estimated to be 2 – 3 weeks old prior to her admission to the Clinic on June 11. She weighed close to 50 pounds on release day.
Due to an Unusual Mortality Event along the Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts coastline, MMoME, a fellow non-profit dedicated to marine mammal response, rescue and rehabilitation, joined the Aquarium’s team to release two harbor seal pups which were also rescued earlier this summer and received care at MMoME’s clinic.
One of the seals was outfitted with a satellite tag by Atlantic Marine Conservation Society of New York. Data collected will contribute to important population monitoring and help researchers gain valuable information on post-release behavior and travel patterns of the seal.
Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program collaborates with many like-minded organizations along the Northeast coastline and even as far as along the California coast. The Aquarium, along with MMoME and Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, share a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which formally provides each facility the opportunity to assist one another when needed. In most cases, Mystic Aquarium rehabilitates and releases seals rescued by MMoME as a result of limited space at the Maine facilities. In this case, the MOU allowed MMoME to share in the Aquarium’s release date and location.
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 CT, RI or Fishers Island, NY. 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.
About Marine Mammals of Maine
MMoME is a non-profit organization dedicated to marine mammal and sea turtle response, rescue, care, research and education. As sentinels of ocean health, marine mammals represent an important Maine resource that can garner public attention for conservation, and shed light on marine ecosystem health. Our mission further includes extensive education and outreach to Maine’s youth, coastal communities and tourists while promoting marine conservation and inspiring marine stewardship.
About Atlantic Marine Conservation Society
Atlantic Marine Conservation Society’s (AMCS) mission is to promote marine conservation through action. This is accomplished through education, research, and response. AMCS is the lead large whale response organization in New York State. As a non-profit organization, the society conducts research projects within the marine environment, and responds to whales, porpoises, dolphins, and sea turtles in the northeast region, and conducts public and private education programs across Long Island into New York City. Partnering with other organizations within the stranding network, AMCS is supported by the Specially Trained Animal Response Team (START), Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). amseas.org