It was an exciting day in Connecticut on Tuesday for Mystic Aquarium as they released a rehabilitated gray seal into the ocean.

Thanks to the aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program, Kumquat the Seal got a second chance at a happy and healthy life.

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Animal Rescue Program at Mystic Aquarium

Erica Casper, the Content Development Specialist for the Aquarium, shared some insight on the program that has been active for almost fifty years.

“It’s the primary program in the region that rescues, rehabilitates, and releases sick and stranded marine mammals and turtles,” she said.

Kumquat the Seal Is Set Free

Kumquat, a 5-month-old male gray seal weanling, was rescued from Gloucester, Massachusetts in February of this year and was transferred to Mystic Aquarium for rehabilitation the following day.

Upon his arrival, Kumquat’s condition was rough, only weighed around 33 pounds, and was in desperate need of help.

“After receiving an individualized treatment plan for malnourishment, dehydration, and respiratory infection, Kumquat is now back in his ocean home,” said the aquarium.

Cameras were rolling at Blue Shutters Beach in Charlestown as the Animal Rescue team set Kumquat free into the open ocean. Kumquat inched his way to the salty waters from which he came, and to the joy of onlookers, he stuck around for a bit, enjoying the waves by the shore, before dipping under the surface.

The satellite seen on Kumquat’s back is used to collect valuable data on his movements to help the team at Mysic learn more about the gray seal population in the region.

“The data we get from his tag will get added to our database of movements of other released seals so that we can determine patterns of movement for the larger population,” said Casper.

The satellite will fall off on its own in a few weeks.

Mystic Aquarium Continues to Make a Difference

Casper shared what it feels like to see a struggling animal go from desperate to thriving, thanks to the hard work of the rescue clinic, veterinary, and animal care staff at Mystic.

“The release of every animal that passes through the Rescue Clinic is a cause for celebration,” she said. “The hope for every animal admitted to the clinic is successful rehabilitation and release back into the environment. While I am not directly involved with the rehabilitation efforts, I watch from the sidelines and I can honestly say that I have never seen a more committed, dedicated, hard-working, and caring group of people…They truly go above and beyond every day to give everything to the animals in their care.”

Animal Releases by Mystic Aquarium Open to the Public

Mystic Aquarium shares upcoming release information online as often as possible. Their next release is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16th at Blue Shutters Beach in Charlestown.
Congratulations, Kumquat! Stay safe out there.

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