Aquarium seeks public help in naming Pup 49

Mystic — Mystic Aquarium is asking the public for help in naming a rehabilitated seal pup.

Until now, the 9-month-old female harbor seal, whose left flipper had to be amputated after suffering a life-threatening infection, has been known as Pup 49.

The aquarium volunteers who cared for the seal have selected five names for the public to vote on: Coral, Grace, Hope, Madison and Mystic.

The public can vote through April 21 at www.mysticaquarium.org.

The seal arrived at the aquarium’s Seal Rescue Clinic in July after being rescued by New England Aquarium 10 days earlier in Plymouth, Mass.

It had a respiratory ailment and a swollen left rear flipper. Despite intensive treatment for the flipper, the seal developed a life-threatening infection in its bone and ankle joint that continued to worsen.

In November, the aquarium’s veterinary team amputated the infected flipper and has since rehabilitated the pup.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has said the seal cannot be released into the wild because she is a weaker, less agile swimmer and requires more effort to haul out of the water compared to seals with two rear flippers. She will now be part of the aquarium’s collection of animals.

The seal can be seen at least through Sunday in the Aquatic Animal Study Center, where there is a special ramp that helps her exit the water. She will then be moved off the display for training.

 

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