The day of March 31st International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) received reports of multiple seals stranding along Brewster beaches. After IFAW personnel ran from beach to beach to follow up on these reports of sickly seals, they eventually realized that it was all the same seal! Now known as “Russeall Crowe,” was beach hopping all over Brewster and running responders ragged. Finally staying put long enough the decision was made to bring him into rehabilitation. Russeall is a weanling gray seal, the stage at when a seal has recently weaned from mom after nursing for only three to four weeks. This is the typical life stage that seals are admitted to rehabilitation. Only being a few months old, their immune system is still weak while they are curious exploring the ocean and no longer with mom to keep them out of trouble, therefore they are more susceptible to injury and illnesses.
Russeall was critically dehydrated, malnourished, and had bite wounds to his head. Not only that, Russeall had both internal and external parasites. Upon admittance he immediately was placed on fluid therapy, antibiotics, and anti-parasitic medication. Russeall is a short and stocky seal, but for such a small seal he has a big personality. He is known throughout the hospital for being very intelligent. Within a week of admittance he gained the ability to eat whole fish on his own, something that takes weeks sometimes months for some weanlings. Russeall also recognized that when lights began turning on in the hospital in the morning that staff would look in on him. Upon realizing this he began to nose up right against the door so that when staff opened the door to peak in at him he would try and make a run for it- or rather make a flop for it.
You are invited to join us at Scusset beach this Friday, May 20th for Russeall Crowe’s public release! He will be released promptly at 6:00 PM. Hope to see you there!