Stranded Grey Seal Pup “Louis Armstrong” Rescued At Assateague

A grey seal pup that was recently rescued from Assateague Island National Seashore is being rehabilitated at the National Aquarium Animal Care and Rescue Center in Baltimore.
Marine scientists said Wednesday that the pup was found stranded and dehydrated, with wounds of unknown origin, and was too young to survive in the ocean without its mother.

The seal has been nicknamed Louis Armstrong in keeping with the National Aquarium’s theme of naming rescues after musicians and instruments during the 2021-22 rescue season.

The seal weighed 35 pounds. He is being treated with antibiotics to address infections resulting from the wounds to his face and flipper. The rescue team is working with Louis to learn to swim independently and to forage for food. He is described as a “vocal and spirited pup who has no reservations about making noise to let rescue staff know when it’s time for a meal.”
The Center has accepted three maternally-dependent seals in the past year, which indicates possible establishment of a grey seal colony, known as a rookery, in mid-Atlantic waters.

Louis will need to reach a weight of 50 pounds and will need to pass several health checks before being cleared for release.

People who encounter seals at the beach should not approach the animal and should keep a distance of 150 feet. The seal may be merely resting, but any sightings may be reported to the National Aquarium Stranded Animal Hotline at 410-576-3880. Strandings should also be reported to Lewes-based Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute at 302-228-5029.

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