In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Marine Mammals of Maine announced Monday that it has some goods news to share with supporters of the Brunswick-based marine rescue organization.

A harbor seal pup that washed up on Scarborough Beach last Wednesday suffering from dehydration, kidney problems, a respiratory infection and lethargy has recovered and will be transferred this week to a long-term care facility in Massachusetts, according to Executive Director Lynda Doughty.

“He bounced back big time,” Doughty said of the baby seal, which was just three days old when passers-by found him lying on a stretch of beach near Prouts Neck – just beyond the neighborhood’s boundary with Scarborough Beach State Park.

This seal pup was just three days old when passers-by found him lying on the beach near Prouts Neck in Scarborough. Photo courtesy of Marine Mammals of Maine

The animal improved gradually after receiving around-the-clock care, but on Sunday the pup, referred to as #39 because he was the 39th stranded animal case that Marine Mammals responded to this year, regained its appetite and was moved into a larger enclosure with a pool.

In a post Monday on its Facebook page, Marine Mammals asked, “in need of some good news today?” before going on to describe the seal’s recovery.

Seals this young typically would be nursed by their mother for three to four weeks, but Doughty said her staff had to improvise to save the animal’s life. It is not clear how the pup became separated from its mother.

Staff has been tube feeding the seal a milk formula that includes oil and vitamins five times a day and staff have tried to train the pup how to survive in the wild by having it eat fish.

“Now, there is no sneaking past his pool without him waking up to ask how long until the next feed. We love transformations like this! If all goes well, he will be transported to another center for the remainder of his recovery tomorrow. Fingers crossed for him.” Marine Mammals wrote in the Facebook post.

Number 39 is scheduled to be transferred Tuesday to the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts.

Doughty and Marine Mammals of Maine received national recognition in March when CNN chose her as a nominee for the cable network’s Hero Award for 2020. CNN filmed a 7-minute segment featuring Doughty and her nonprofit organization. The video is called the “Seal Rescuer.”

CNN will name its 2020 hero from a field of 20 candidates later this year.










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