For the first time in the program's history, the National Aquarium's Animal Rescue team simultaneously released two rescued gray seals back to the Atlantic Ocean in Ocean City after successful rehabilitation.
Edwin Hubble and George Washington Carver were nicknamed after influential scientists in line with the Aquarium's 2018–2019 naming theme for rescue seals. Edwin was rescued at the end of March after traveling out of the normal range for grey seals; heading south all the way to St. Augustine, Florida prompting rescuers in action. Edwin made the long journey to Charm City and was found to be underweight, but without serious injury or illness.
George was rescued in early April after he was found stranded on the beach on 22nd Street in Ocean City, Md. When rescued through a coordinated effort with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, George was both lethargic and underweight with superficial wounds. He was also diagnosed with a respiratory infection.
While under the care of the Animal Rescue and Animal Health teams, both George and Edwin received expert care and were approved to return to their habitat. During their time at the Aquarium's Animal Care and Rescue Center, both gained weight and responded well to treatments. They also enjoyed spending time interacting with enrichment devices to maintain foraging skills for their return to the ocean.
National Aquarium's Animal Rescue program is responsible for responding to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles along the nearly 3,190 miles of Maryland coast and works with stranding partners through the GARS Network to help respond, rescue and release animals year-round.