Featured Image Credit: Katie Peikes/Delaware Public Media
On Tuesday, June 27th, Phil the seal from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland was released back into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean from Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Phil’s release marked the aquariums 200th animal release and rescue since the opening in 1991.
“Phil exhibited all of the natural behaviors he was supposed to and was able to go back into his natural environment,” said Jennifer Dittmar, curator of animal rescue at National Aquarium.
Phil seems to love the thrill of adventure, although at times it has almost cost him his life. Back in December, Phil was found and rescued in Delaware. He survived the season’s first snowstorm and also crossed the busy Delaware Route 15!
“Phil stranded back in December and was being monitored by the MERR Institute and then in April showed signs of debilitation,” National Aquarium’s Kate Shaffer said. “He had an eye infection, was getting thin and dehydrated. And so the stranding network decided it was time for intervention.”
For twelve weeks Phil received medical attention and care along with daily activities that kept him entertained until he was finally cleared and stable enough to return home.
The staff from the National Aquarium and many onlookers sent Phil off with a warm farewell. Even though he has been released, the National Aquarium will be keeping a close eye on his whereabouts by periodically releasing updates on Phil to the public. “We outfitted him with a satellite transmitter and that will allow our staff monitor his location after his release,” Dittmar said. “Since he was an out-of-habitat animal to begin with, we want to make sure that’s not a pattern of his and can monitor his location closely.”
We wish Phil the best of luck as he takes on the deep blue sea all over again. Hopefully this time he can stay out of trouble!