Caring for Stranded Marine Animals
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The Animals We Treat

Since 2004, the National Marine Life Center has cared for over 120 threatened, endangered, and/or protected aquatic animals.  Our rehabilitation patients and head-start animals to date have included the following species.
~ Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)
~ Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)
~ Harp seal (Phoca groenlandica)
Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)
Gray seal (Halichoerus grypus)
~ Northern red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys rubriventris)
~ Diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)

When NMLC’s new hospital is complete, we will be equipped to care for the following species that commonly strand in and around Massachusetts.
Sea turtles:
~ Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)
~ Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)
~ Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)
~ Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) (rare)
~ Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) (rare)
~ Hybrids – several documented hybrid sea turtles have stranded in Massachusetts.  (rare)

Non-marine turtles:
~ Northern red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys rubriventris)
~ Diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)

Pinnipeds:
~ Harp seal (Phoca groenlandica)
~ Hooded seal (Cystophora cristata)
~ Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)
~ Gray seal (Halichoerus grypus)
~ Ringed seal (Phoca hispida) (rare)

Cetaceans:
~ Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)
~ Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus)
~ Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis)
~ Long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas)
~ Pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps)
~ White-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)
~ Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
~ Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus)
~ Spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis)
~ Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba)

Sirenians:
~ West Indian (Florida) manatee (Trichechus manatus) (rare)

Thank you to the following for use of their species fact sheets.
~ American Cetacean Society
~ Natural Heritage Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife
~ NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources
~ SeaWorld