Featured Image Credit: SEACOAST SCIENCE CENTER
By: Laura O’Brien
The story of two gray seals that washed up in New Hampshire several months ago had a happy ending this May. The Seacoast Science Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue found both seals at different points this March. One washed up on Seabrook Beach, and the other was rescued from a parking lot about a mile away from the other’s rescue site. Multiple nor’easters pummeled New Hampshire before the seals, dubbed Saco and Pemigewasset (after two rivers in the area), were rescued. Saco and Pemi were both treated for infections and parasites at the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay.
The Marine Mammal Spokesperson at Seacoast Science Center, Ashley Stokes, said, “Saco was pretty lazy in rehab. He was very lethargic and extremely weak. It took him a bit of time to bounce back. Pemi was the opposite — she was very feisty . . . and very vocal”. Saco and Pemi were required to be off of their antibiotic treatments for two weeks, and weigh over 50 pounds before they could be released. After two months of rehabilitation, the seals were finally ready to return to the ocean this May.
Despite her tenacity during her stay at the National Marine Life Center, Pemi was less eager to leave than Saco. Stokes described their release, which was attended by a crowd of about 250 onlookers. Stokes said, “Saco went first, went right out of the kennel and went straight toward the water. Pemi was a bit more hesitant. It took her a while to get out of the crate, and when she got out, she immediately wanted to get back in”. Eventually, both seals made their way into the water, and off to sea.
Learn more from our sources, https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/05/14/two-gray-seals-released-back-into-ocean-after-recovering-from-march-nor-easters/vhzo1KskZwWz8KXypzkmzK/story.html , and https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2018/05/13/seals-rescued-in-new-hampshire-set-for-release-on-cape-cod