Townsend The Seal To Be Released

Let's All Tag Townsend The Seal...

I have a long-standing love for the people at the National Marine Life Center and the good work they do with the sea creatures that are brought to them. Today, it is my pleasure to announce that Townsend the harbor seal is scheduled for a June 27th release off of Scusset Beach. I'd also like to ask for your help in further Townsend matters.

Townsend (pictured in the Mr. Turtle pool, chillin' like a villain) was picked up off of Old Orchard Beach in Maine last September, suffering from breathing problems and several cuts/wounds. He was taken to the University of New England’s Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center, then to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, before finally ending up in Buzzards Bay at the NMLC.

It turns out that Townsend had something called Middle Ear Disease. He required a pair of surgeries and some extensive down time. His surgeries were complicated by Townsend's "dive reflex," which is the fact that seals don't breathe when they're unconscious. That makes them tough to anest, aenesth... uhm, put under for surgery.

However, all went well, Townsend made a great recovery. His recovery was strong enough that he is actually ready for the ocean again. He gets put back in the water on June 27th, most likely off Scusset Beach State Reservation at Sagamore Beach.

But his story may not end there.

The NMLC is presently trying to raise funds so as to attach a tag onto Townsend. With the tag on him, they can get valuable post-NMLC data from Townsend...sort of make the pudgy little sucker pay his way, in a sense. We have a lot of seals on Cape Cod, and they touch our lives in many ways.

These tags cost about $3000, and monitoring them takes a few hundred more. They have to find the money themselves, so we're helping out by putting the word out. If you can pitch in some, contact the NMLC via:

PHONE: 508-743-9888
FAX: 508-759-5477
E-MAIL: [email protected]
Townsend's Page:


(from the NMLC themselves)

The rest of our Kemp's Ridley sea turtles, Ernest, Topsy, Betsy and Gerald are ready for release! This Saturday, our turtles will venture down to Point Lookout State Park Scotland, Maryland and will be released into Chesapeake Bay where the water temperatures are over 75 degrees, perfect temperature for their send off, as the water is a bit too chilly up north right now.

The animals will be transported to National Aquarium in Baltimore on Friday Night via animal care staff. The animals will be housed there overnight and released the next day!

We are so happy to see them off after a long bout with the
harsh effects of cold stranding.

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