Sealphen King Headed Back to Sea
It’s going to be an exciting week at the National Marine Life Center as we are preparing for Sealphen King to return to the sea! This larger than life yearling grey seal was rescued from Chatham Harbor by our friends at the International Fund for Animal Welfare on October 8, 2016. Sealphen was found barely hanging on as his rear flippers were entangled and anchored to a lobster trap. Thankfully the team arrived on time and was able to bring him on board a boat to be disentangled. The interesting thing about this animal is that he was tagged with a green rear flipper tag from a previous research study on Monamoy Island where he was born. The study lead by NOAA and MIT is an investigation into the influenza virus, and gives us the rare opportunity for a more detailed life history of a patient in our care. Stephen was admitted with swelling and lacerations on his hind flippers from the entanglement and under extreme stress from his ordeal. Weighing in at 106lb on admit he is one of the largest seals to enter into our care, which gave us a few challenges along the way, but we are happy to report that he has returned to good health and will be headed home on Friday November 11, 2016 at 1:30pm at Scusset Beach, in Sandwich. The International Fund for Animal Welfare will also be supplying Sealphen with a satellite tag, with will be adhered to his coat and allow us to follow is progress post release. We will be able to monitor his travels over the next several months until the tag falls off with the next molt. All are welcome to join us for the release as we send Sealphen King back to sea.