See Mystic Aquarium’s First Public Seal Pup Release in Two Years
Chilly temperatures didn't keep the crowds off the beach in Charlestown, Rhode Island on Tuesday as the Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Program performed their first public release of a rehabilitated seal pup in two years.
Since the pandemic began, the Mystic Aquarium had been releasing rehabilitated marine animals at unannounced times in private locations to keep the crowds from gathering. But on Tuesday a crowd of about 100 supporters joined together at Blue Shutters Beach for the release of a juvenile grey seal staff named "Мир" (pronounced "Myr"), meaning "peace" in Ukrainian.
Мир was first spotted at Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly back on February 15. He was malnourished and minimally responsive and after being monitored by a First Responder Volunteer it was determined that he had to be rescued.
Staff from the Mystic Aquarium Rescue Program transported him to the clinic at the aquarium where more monitoring took place. Based on his teeth size and coat, the grey seal was determined to be about eight weeks old and recently weaned from his mother.
Sadly he was incredibly underweight at only 30 pounds and malnourished, so the veterinary team decided to feed Мир through a process called "fish school." Basically it uses props to make fish appear to be swimming and helps teach Мир how to catch and eat it on his own. People are never seen by the seal during this schooling, so he never associates humans with food.
The goal at the rehabilitation clinic is always to return the animals they rescue back to the open waters if possible. Lucky for Мир after about six weeks at the Mystic Aquarium he had doubled his weight, learned to catch fish and was ready to rejoin ocean life.
Мир certainly seemed ready to join that life. As the crowd cheered and the wind blew, he made his way down the sand and bounded right back into the water. Another amazing rehab complete for the crew at the Mystic Aquarium Rescue Program.