Animal Rescue Week: The Rehabilitation

In honor of the 25th anniversary of our Animal Rescue program, we’re breaking down what it actually takes to rehabilitate the animals in our care:

Published June 15, 2016

Treatment in the Animal Rescue program differs for each unique animal. Upon arrival, turtles, seals and other marine animals are given identification numbers and are given a full exam to determine their individual care plan.

turtle

Feedings are carefully executed to keep track of how much each patient is eating. Turtles are fed by staff using a long pair of tongs, to count how many squid, shrimp, and capelin are consumed. Seals have some of their food frozen into ice blocks, or “fishcicles,” to require clever manipulation.

feeding-rescue-animals

In the last year alone, 39 rescued and released animals ate 785.8 pounds of food while in the Aquarium’s care! 

Enrichment activities are also a crucial part of the animals’ day at the rehabilitation center. The rehab pool has a variety of “caves” and items to keep the turtles and seals busy. Food is hidden for seals in PVC pipes to promote hunting behaviors. 

Both seals and turtles can exercise their natural instincts with boat buoys, heavy-duty hula-hoops, and even car wash strips than simulate kelp!

animal-enrichment-activities 

Stay tuned for more posts this week in honor of our Animal Rescue program’s 25th anniversary!

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Edwin Hubble and George Washington Carver Animal Rescue Update: Double Seal Release!

For the first time in its history, National Aquarium Animal Rescue simultaneously released two rehabilitated seals. The two male greys, nicknamed Edwin Hubble and George Washington Carver, were released in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23.

Read the full story

Turtle release Rescue to Release, Part 4: Release

For every rescue sea turtle that’s undergoing rehabilitation at the National Aquarium, there’s always the same end goal: release.

Read the full story

Related Stories

Animal Rescue Update: Double Seal Release!

Published May 25, 2019

Rescue to Release, Part 4: Release

Published May 09, 2019