Stuart Little the Distressed Rescue Seal Returns to the Ocean After Rehab Stay in Baltimore
Stuart Little the harp seal has made his way back home.
On Friday, the juvenile seal was released back into the ocean at Assateague State Park in Worcester County, Maryland, after spending nearly two months in recovery at the National Aquarium's Animal Care and Rescue Center.
Stuart Little was rescued in Ocean City on March 2 and cared for by the Baltimore aquarium. The young seal's rescuers originally found Stuart little eating sand on the beach alone, which is a sign of stress and dehydration and can cause significant damage to a seal's digestive system.
After spending a few weeks recovering from several parasitic infections, Stuart Little — who weighed 48 pounds when he was rescued — returned to the ocean weighing in at a healthy 70 pounds.
"Harp seals are considered ice seals, which means they typically spend most of their time on ice floes or in areas with plenty of ice covering. Therefore, it's no surprise that Stuart's favorite enrichment activity was eating and rolling around in ice," Jennifer Dittmar, the director of National Aquarium Animal Rescue, said in a press release of Stuart Little's time with the aquarium.
Stuart Little's return to the ocean is the National Aquarium's second seal release of the season. Earlier this month, they released a 1-month-old rescue seal named Eloise. Eloise came under the aquarium's care in February when rescuers found her malnourished and with several lacerations on her neck.
Meanwhile, a third seal patient, a juvenile grey seal nicknamed Tom Sawyer, was recently rescued in Delaware by the aquarium in coordination with Marine Education Research and Rehabilitation.
Tom Sawyer is currently in critical condition. The aquarium said they are treating this precious patient for several ailments, including bite wounds and a parasitic respiratory infection.