Nat’l Aquarium Rehabs Two Seals, Releases Them Back into Open Water

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Luna’s release on Thursday. Photo via National Aquarium.

Two seals that the National Aquarium staff helped rescue from harm’s way earlier this year are now happily swimming back in the open ocean.

The Inner Harbor aquarium announced today that Luna, a grey seal pup found stranded in Ocean City in May, has been set free off the coast of New Jersey after months of rehabilitation. Luna was suffering from shark bite wounds and pneumonia when she was came into the aquarium’s care on May 23. Staff also diagnosed her with lung worms and dehydration shortly after her arrival.

Now she’s all better after a stay in the institution’s Fells Point animal care and rescue center, according to aquarium staff. In her three-plus months at the facility, she took on a healthy, wholesome diet of fish gruel, fended off her infections with some antibiotics and gained 20 pounds.

Staff released Luna on Thursday at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, N.J. Here’s a video of her ceremonial crawl back into the ocean. (Warning: Could be emotional for animal lovers.)

Luna had company at the animal care rescue center this summer. Aquarium staff also helped rehabilitate Phil, a harbor seal who got stuck in the muck after swimming 12 miles upstream from the Delaware Bay. He came into their care on April 11, also suffering from dehydration as well as an eye infection.

Staff released him at the same area in Sandy Hook in July. Here’s a picture of Phil, who marked the aquarium’s 200th rehabbed-and-released animal since 1991, when the rescue program began.

Photo via National Aquarium

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Associate Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan is Baltimore Fishbowl's associate editor. He previously covered Baltimore-area news as a web producer for Fox45/WBFF-TV. Before arriving in Baltimore, he worked as an assistant editor for CQ Researcher in Washington D.C., and a reporter for Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. Look for his freelance bylines in Baltimore City Paper and DCist.
Ethan McLeod
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