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Critical Animal Rescue Work Continues at National Aquarium Despite Closure

Animal Rescue Team Releases Harp Seal Back to Natural Habitat


While the National Aquarium remains closed to the public to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), a core team of Animal Rescue staff traveled to Assateague State Park the morning of March 17 to release successfully rehabilitated rescue seal Amelia Bedelia back to the Atlantic Ocean.

Amelia Bedelia, nicknamed in line with this season's rescue seal naming theme of storybook characters, was originally rescued on February 23 from Ocean City, Maryland. Upon her arrival to the Aquarium's Animal Care and Rescue Center, the Animal Health and Rescue teams determined she was extremely dehydrated.

Over the past few weeks under the care of the Aquarium's Animal Rescue team, Amelia has gained weight, strength and swimming skills. Time with enrichment toys and puzzle feeders helped sharpen her foraging skills before returning to her natural habitat.

A core team of Animal Health and Rescue staff continue to provide care for rescue seals Pippi Longstocking and Huckleberry Finn while the Aquarium and its Animal Care and Rescue Center remain temporarily closed to the public. Both seals are doing well and show daily signs of improvement in their rehabilitation journey.

The 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.

It's important to note that if a member of the public sees a stranded marine mammal or sea turtle, the person should not touch or approach the animal, or allow other people/pets to do so. We ask that you carefully note your location and time of day and immediately contact the National Aquarium's Stranded Animal Hotline at 410-576-3880.