First Patient in the New Hospital – Townsend the Seal!

harbor seal

Townsend the harbor seal in his new pool at NMLC.We are pleased to announce the first patient in our new marine animal hospital – Townsend the harbor seal!

Townsend is a juvenile male harbor seal that stranded September 6 on Old Orchard Beach in Maine suffering from respiratory distress and cuts to his face and chin.  He was rescued by NOAA Fisheries and transported to the University of New England’s Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center where he received care and medical treatment.  Today we transferred him to the National Marine Life Center’s new hospital to continue his rehabilitation.

Nicknamed “Townsend” after NMLC co-founder and benefactor Townsend Hornor of Osterville, MA, the seal was weighed, measured, and given an “admit exam” upon arrival. Radiographs and a blood sample were taken in order to assess the animal’s health. He was placed in a rehabilitation pool and is under observation for his first 24 hours to ensure a successful transition.

Dr. Williams examines Townsend as Kate gently holds him still.

As you may know, harbor seals are found throughout the Northeast and are year-round residents of Cape Cod. These small, spotted seals are often seen swimming in the Cape Cod Canal or basking on the rocks along the Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts shores. Adults grow to be about six feet and 250 pounds. Townsend is 3.5 feet long and weighs about 50 pounds.
You can help by donating towards Townsend’s rehabilitation.  And, stay tuned for more updates!


Townsend didn't want to leave his carrier at first!