Thursday, July 7, 2011

Seal Rescue at the Cape Cod Canal

Text contributed by NECWA staff member Ann Cook. Photos by Robyn Perry.

On July 2, 2011, the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) stationed at the Cape Cod Canal received a call about a stranded seal that appeared to be a juvenile gray seal. This seal had been reported to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) the day before and IFAW staff had come down to the Canal to assess the animal's condition. At that time, IFAAW determined that the seal was healthy and in good condition.

However, on this first Saturday in July, a large wake from a boat had thrown the seal against the rip rap and stunned her. Ann Cook contacted Krill from NECWA asking for advice. Krill recommended a second call to IFAW updating them on the change in the seal's status.

IFAW recommended that the seal be rescued due to this change in the health of the animal. The first Rangers on scene were Gabe Lundgren, Ann Cook, Roger Hagen, and USACE Park Attendants, Robyn and Lin Perry. This team successfully crated the young seal and transported it to the IFAW rehabilitation facility.

IFAW staff called back to indicate that this was a female gray seal that was pupped earlier this season. So they estimated her age to be around 6 months. She was doing well in rehab and they congratulated the team for their quick and successful actions saying that this was the best thing that could happen for the seal under the circumstances.

Congratulations to all that helped with this rescue. Team effort, good attention and quick action are key to a successful rescue for any marine mammal. Great work team!