Our partner rehabs and releases its first two harbour seals

This story begins when two baby harbour seals were found injured along the coast of Maine.

Orchard, a male seal pup, weighed only 17 pounds when he was found. His body was covered in lesions and one of his rear flippers was broken. Higgins, a female pup, weighed only 28 pounds and had a severe eye infection which ultimately caused blindness in one eye.

They were both rushed to a triage centre – a centre that our supporters helped build and the first of its kind on the East Coast.

This supporter-funded hospital allows our partner, the Marine Mammals of Maine (MMoME), to stabilize and treat critically injured seals. For three months, staff and volunteers at MMoME gave round-the-clock care for the two baby seals. During their rehabilitation process, they got to know the seals well.

Orchard is the complete opposite. He is very shy and didn’t engage with the toys much but he loved to swim and was always diving to the bottom of his pool. Every time someone showed up at his pool he would pop up like a gopher and stare at them until they left.

Higgins is a very feisty seal with plenty of attitude and a love for exploring. She loved the enrichment toys given to her and was seen constantly batting them around.

Our supporters helped make this triage centre possible, helping to give Higgins and Orcahard another chance at life.

Watch the MMoME release Higgins and Orchard back into their ocean home at Head Beach in Phippsburg, Maine:

“We are so thrilled to have assisted with the momentous release of these two harbour seals back to the wild,” says Elizabeth Hogan, our U.S. Oceans and Wildlife Campaign Manager.

“Marine Mammals of Maine is truly a model of what coastal rescue centers can accomplish for our ocean life. The expert staff at MMoME are on the frontline of rescuing hundreds of marine animals each year from over 2,400 miles of coastline, and the service they provide is life-saving for marine animals that need immediate care.”

As part of our Sea Change campaign, we work with local, national and global partners with partners and the fishing industry to remove lost or otherwise derelict fishing gear and marine litter, known as ’ghost gear’, from the world’s oceans, and to develop solutions to create safer, cleaner oceans for the marine animals that live in them through the Global Ghost Gear Initiative.

Our MMoME triage center partnership also allows for research and data collection on the specific causes of entanglement and species impacted.

Read more success stories like this one

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To celebrate our oceans and the animals that call them home, your donation to this campaign will be matched, dollar for dollar.

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*Donations towards our World Oceans Day matching campaign, will be matched dollar for dollar up to $30,000 until midnight EST on June 30th, 2019.

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