This long dreary winter is finally coming to a close, and that means one thing at the National Marine Life Center- the harbor seal pups are on their way. Late April-June is harbor seal pupping season in New England and one of the busiest times for our rehabilitation staff. Each year many pups are abandoned by their mothers, often due to human interaction and will not survive on their own without rehabilitation.
This marks the first pup season since the closing of the seal rehabilitation center at the University of New England, leaving NMLC as the only facility to accept these ailing pups in Northern New England. For pups stranding in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts NMLC is the closest option for rehabilitation! Once admitted these pups need to be tube fed a formula until they can be weaned onto whole fish, a difficult process without a mother seal to teach them how. NMLC staff and volunteers will be providing almost round the clock care to these dependent animals with 5 feedings a day starting at 6am and ending at 11pm. These animals will require a lot energy and resources and we need you to help us gear up and get ready!
This year we will be hosting our first annual “Seal Pup Shower” open house and you are cordially invited to attend. Come celebrate with us, help us prepare the”nursery”, and kick off our April vacation activities. The shower will be held on Saturday April 18, 2015 from 10am-2pm in our Marine Animal Discovery Center located at 120 Main St, Buzzards Bay, MA. The event entrance fee will be waived if you bring a “baby” gift for our pups from the wishlist below. Activities will include our unique twist of some classic baby shower games, educational programs including Little Flippers Club and Marine Animal Medical Mystery, as well as hospital tours and patients updates to meet our current patients (the ability to view a particular patient will be dependent on the animal’s condition, and animal care staff discretion).
So what do you get a baby seal? Here is a wishlist of items we will need to help these seal pups get healthy and strong, eating fish on their own, and back to the wild!
Seal Pup Wishlist
Health and Medical Equipment- These items will allow us to administer medications, keep animals at the proper temperature, and return the animals to good health:
Bath Towels (Clean used ones are great!)
Formula Supplies-These supplies will allow us to provide the proper nourishment to the pups by way of formula or gruel tube fed to them until they start eating fish on their own:
Feeding Tubes (Medium & Large)
Personal Protective Equipment- These items will help protect our staff and volunteers from bites and scratches:
Cleaning Supplies- These items will help keep our hospital clean and sanitary to stop the spread of disease, and follow quarantine protocols within the hospital:
Dish washing Sponges
Please consider picking up a “baby gift” for our new arrivals , your tax deductible donation is greatly appreciated! If you would prefer to make a monetary donation to support the purchase of food, medicine, staff support, and/or electrical costs please click here to be directed to our donations page! we hope to see you on April 18th!