A grey seal pup rescued at Cape Henlopen is being cared for at the National Aquarium Animal Care and Rescue Center.
The Marine Education and Rehabilitation Institute took in the seal pup last month. She’s been given the name Eloise, and is believed to be less than one month old.
The seal was found to be malnourished and dehydrated, and had a few lacerations on her neck.
Eloise is being taught how to eat fish, since she’s still at the young age at which seals normally depend on their mothers for milk.
The seal will need to gain about 28 pounds, or double her weight, before being eligible for release.
The Aquarium also successfully rehabilitated and released its first-ever maternally-dependent seal, named Pippi Longstocking, last year.
“Pippi and Eloise are unique cases for the Mid-Atlantic because they have stranded when they are still young enough to be maternally-dependent,” National Aquarium Director of Animal Rescue Jennifer Ditmar said. “There could be many reasons for this to be happening including storms, a human interaction that scared off the mom, maternal instincts that haven’t kicked in or birthing complications.”