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Mystic Aquarium announces start of seal pup season

Mystic -- Mystic Aquarium has announced that seal pup season has begun along the Connecticut and Rhode Island coastline and its Animal Rescue Program has already responded to two hotline calls about seal pups on shore.

On Jan. 25, the rescue program investigated a report of a gray seal pup alone on Misquamicut State Beach. The aquarium said the seal was healthy and safeguarded the animal until it returned to the water. The seal eventually swam out of view.

On Feb. 1 the rescue program responded to a seal pup at Blue Shutters Beach in Charlestown, R.I. The pup was found in very critical condition with a broken jaw and multiple puncture wounds on its head. The team transported the pup to the aquarium's animal hospital for treatment. The aquarium said the seal's wounds were too severe and it died.

Then aquarium said the seal pupping season ranges from December to March. After birth, pups will nurse for a few weeks and then learn how to survive on its own. During this time seal pups may find themselves alone onshore.

The aquarium asks anyone who finds a seal on the beach to stay 150 feet away and call the aquarium stranding hotline at  (860) 572-5955, Ext. 107.  Individuals should not touch, feed, or attempt to help the pup. The Animal Rescue Program will then dispatch trained first responders to monitor the health of the animal or collect any sick or injured animal in need of medical attention.

More information about the program can be found at https://www.mysticaquarium.org/conservation-impact/animal-rescue/

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