Rescued seal released back into wild

August 30 2016

Rescued from entanglement in fishing gear in March, Copper was ready to live life in the wild again.

On March 23, our partners Marine Mammals of Maine (MMoME) received a call about a seal laying on a private dock in Christmas Cove, Southport Maine.

The owner of the dock told MMoME that the seal was entangled in netting and was in need of help.


When found, the seal had a deep cut on its neck

MMoME quickly dispatched a volunteer to the area who was able to collect the seal and transport him to the triage center.

The line wrapped around his neck was monofilament gear. It was cutting deeply into him and the wound had become infected. 

He was not in good shape and quick action was needed. After running some tests, his bloodwork showed a significant level of dehydration and an upper respiratory infection.

He was also underweight, weighing just 48 pounds. The line wrapped around his neck was interfering with his ability to forage and eat.

The MMoME veterinarian was able to remove the line and the seal was placed on a treatment plan which included antibiotics, IV fluid therapy, nutrition, and wound care. His road to recovery and eventual release had begun!

After 3.5 days at the MMoME triage center, he was strong enough to make the trip to Mystic Aquarium for the remainder of his rehabilitation.


The little seal, looking much healthier upon release

The team at the Mystic Aquarium named him Copper and stayed optimistic that he would eventually be released.

After spending around 4 months in rehabilitation, the seal was ready to be released back into the wild!

Related: Saving Lemongrass, the story of another rescued seal

At the time of release in early August he weighed a healthy 84 pounds!

The successful rescue, rehab, and release of Copper is an example of the wonderful work that animal rescue groups like Marine Mammals of Maine do each and every day.

But our oceans are still a dangerous place for Copper and other marine animals due to the constant threat of entanglement.

Lost and abandoned (ghost) gear, like the monofilament line that injured Copper, causes harm, suffering, and death to hundreds of thousands of animals each year.

Together we can make difference for 1 million marine animals by 2018. Click here to support our work.

The line wrapped around his neck was monofilament gear. It was cutting deeply into his neck and the wound had become infected.

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