Year-End Recap: Animal Rescue

Turtles and seals, oh my! It was a busy year for our Animal Rescue team as we released our 200th rescue over the summer!

Published December 28, 2017

Our Animal Rescue team was busy all year long as they rescued and rehabilitated turtles and seals. The first group of turtles arrived at the National Aquarium in late 2016 after they stranded along the coast of New England. Our team took several trips down to Florida to release turtles as they received clean bills of health. By March, all turtles were successfully rehabilitated and released!


Soon after the release of these turtles, we admitted two seals for rehabilitation. After traveling 12 miles inland, a male harbor seal stranded in Delaware and was transferred to the Aquarium for care. The seal, nicknamed Phil by volunteers, was treated for dehydration and an eye infection. Phil’s release in June was cause for a special celebration since he was the 200th animal to be successfully rehabilitated and released by the Aquarium!


Also in our care this year was Luna, a female grey seal that stranded in Ocean City, Maryland, in April. Luna was treated for pneumonia and lacerations during her time in our care. Luna was with us until September, when she was released in Sandy Hook, New Jersey

As soon as our turtle rescue was open for the 2017 - 2018 season, we had a sudden influx of 30 turtles from Cape Cod! These turtles all suffered from ailments associated with cold-stunning and were transported to the Aquarium over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This was the largest single intake in the history of our Animal Rescue program and the team worked diligently alongside volunteers to efficiently triage the turtles. They are now all being treated by our Animal Rescue and Animal Health teams in hopes of releasing them in early 2018.

Stay tuned as we follow the progress of these rescue turtles into 2018!

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