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.