National Aquarium Releases 150th Rehabilitated Marine Animal into Atlantic Ocean

posted: 06/10/15
by: Danny Clemens
Lily the grey seal
National Aquarium

When Lily, a grey seal, was found stranded on the coast of Delaware with a broken jaw, she was unable to eat by herself. Local officials quickly transferred her into the custody of the National Aquarium in Baltimore, where veterinarians on the aquarium's Animal Rescue Team feared that her fractured lower jaw would require surgery.

Over the past seven weeks, however, the Animal Rescue Team has slowly but surely been nursing Lily back to health. With their assistance, Lily's lower jaw has healed without any surgical intervention. The team has not only provided her with top-notch medical care, but has also helped her hone her hunting and foraging skills to prepare her for her eventual release back into the wild.

Lily the seal

After receiving a clean bill of health, Lily was released off of Assateague Island back into the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday morning by aquarium staff. Remarkably, Lily is the 150th marine animal to be rehabilitated by the Animal Rescue Team.

Since its founding in 1991, the Animal Rescue Team has provided medical care for a variety of different marine animals, including Kemp's ridley, green and loggerhead sea turtles; a pygmy sperm whale; a manatee; and rough-toothed dolphins.

Many of the animals were injured through their interactions with humans. The aquarium provides the following tips to help the general public maintain a safe environment for all marine wildlife:

  • Dispose of all refuse accordingly, especially fishing line, cigarette butts, six-pack rings, plastic debris and metal cans, which can be particularly hazardous to marine wildlife.
  • Use lawn fertilizers cautiously, as the chemicals can make their way into local waterways and harm wildlife.
  • Give wildlife their space. All marine mammals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act -- it is a crime to provoke or harass marine mammals or other endangered wildlife.
  • Report all sick, injured or stranded wildlife to appropriate authorities.

Learn more about seals:

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Counting Antarctic Fur Seals

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