Harbor Seals Stranded in 2017 Released at Scusset Beach Sunday

SANDWICH – Workers with the National Marine Life Center braved the icy cold at Scusset Beach in Sandwich Sunday to release two rehabilitated harbor seal weanlings from the 2017 season.

The animals, which get “Sealebrity” status from the center, were named “Bella Lugoseal” and “Scarlett Johanseal.”

They arrived at the facility two months ago suffering with dehydration, wounds, infections and parasites.

“Bella Lugoseal” stranded on October 22nd in Rye, New Hampshire and was rescued by the Seacoast Science Center.

“They have been fully healed and it was very exciting to see them go back into the wild today. These two seals were some of the fastest I’ve ever seen go into the wild,” said National Marine Life Center Executive Director Kathy Zagzebski.

The center is based in Buzzards Bay.

Bella came in battling a very serious infection on both sides of her face and her mouth which caused her to lose some teeth.

She was also underweight, dehydrated and suffering from pneumonia and parasitic infections.

With the help of fluids, pain medications, antibiotics and routine wound cleansing, Bella’s infection has healed with no complications.

Just over two months in rehabilitation, Bella is off all medications, approved for release and has more than doubled her weight since being admitted!

“Scarlett Johanseal” stranded on November 9th in Phippsburg, Maine and was rescued by Marine Mammals of Maine.

Scarlett was admitted with wounds, an upper respiratory infection, internal parasites and dehydration.

After antibiotics, fluids and antiparasitic medications, Scarlett has made a full recovery and is approved for release.

“They were very eager to go and that tells me they were very ready. We saw them play around in the waves for a little bit, which is normal,” said Zagzebski.

Weanlings are independent seals that have recently weaned from their mother and are typically 4-10 months old.

This age class is especially prone to various combinations of infections, malnourishment, parasites, wounds and injuries.

Since 2012, the non-profit has cared for 121 seals, 139 endangered sea turtles, and 164 endangered native turtles.

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