New Seal Welcomed at Woods Hole Science Aquarium 2003/07/17 New Seal Welcomed at Woods Hole Science Aquarium


New Seal

at Woods Hole






George Liles
(508) 495-2267


NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center

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New Seal Welcomed at Woods Hole Science Aquarium

Woods Hole, Mass. -- A one-year-old female harbor seal has a new home in the seal pool at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium (WHSA). The seal joins Coco, a seven-year-old harbor seal that has been on display at the aquarium since 1998.

The WHSA agreed to provide a long-term home for her this past spring. The aquarium provides a permanent home for seals that cannot be released to the wild. She is unreleaseable owing to her history of poor feeding while at large, and chronic but treatable medical problems.

The new seal was abandoned by her mother on a Maine beach and rescued by Marine Animal Lifeline in June, 2002. The one-month-old, 19 pound pup was in poor condition, and was rehabilitated over the summer before release off Maine in November. Within a month, she was stranded in the Cape Cod Canal, emaciated, with an infected flipper, and begging food from fishermen. After rescue by the Cape Cod Stranding Network, she was returned to Maine for second round of rehabilitation, and then transferred to the WHSA for further medical evaluation.

The new seal is unnamed, and suggestions are welcome. A name suggestion box is now located in the lobby of the aquarium.

The aquarium is located in the NOAA Fisheries building on Water Street in Woods Hole and is open 11-4, Tuesday through Saturday. Seal feedings are scheduled for 11 and 4, and usually include a talk about the seals and the opportunity to ask the seal handler questions. While the Coco and the new seal are adjusting to a shared pool, some of the feeding sessions may be closed to the public.


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NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service/Northeast Fisheries Science Center * 166 Water Street * Woods Hole, MA * 02543
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