Rescued Seal Released in Ocean City - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rescued Seal Released in Ocean City

Posted: Jun 07, 2018 2:51 PM Updated:

OCEAN CITY, Md.- After months of rehabilitation, a young harbor seal was released back on the Ocean City beach where he was rescued in March.

Marmalade came to the National Aquarium malnourished and dehydrated. The juvenile seal also suffered from pneumonia and seal pox and had cuts on his body. Aquarium Animal Rescue Team employee Emily Smith says Marmalade made an impression as he recovered.

"Sometimes people say they are the dogs of the sea and I believe they earned that name for sure," she explains. "They are definitely curious and that is a really interesting part of rehab: we have to figure out how to give them the best care but really stay as disconnected from them as possible because we want them to be successful in the wild."

Marmalade got his sweet name from the National Aquarium's breakfast food theme for its newly rescued animals. Fellow harbor seal Lox was released in Delaware earlier this year. 

Smith says Marmalade loved to eat and smack enrichment items back into the pool. She says Marmalade's return to the beach he came from makes his journey complete. 

"We wouldn't be able to do it without Ocean City, without the lifeguards here, without the state officials, without the volunteers and just the guests that come to Ocean City so it's been a great full circle experience." 

Marmalade attracted many fans quickly as he was released from his crate and waddled into the waves. 

"I just thought it was a cool event seeing nature being released," says Jake Soulen from Ocean City. "It's such a blessing [...] it's a beautiful occasion."

Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan says the seal's presence will be long remembered, and he hopes the feelings are mutual. 

"He actually looked back and waited for us to wave goodbye before he took that final plunge into the ocean," Meehan says. "So I think he will remember Ocean City and remember everything good about what happened when he was here. But hopefully he'll stay out there head south and enjoy his swim for the rest of his life."

For more on Marmalade, visit the National Aquarium's website

 

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