Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Wayward Seal Captured, Dies

When we first wrote a post about the seal near Mims, Florida, it was a fun, slightly strange, animal story. An arctic seal, way out of its element, was swimming around near Hobe Sound. The story has turned out to be a sad one.

The bearded seal, nicknamed Hope, was rescued Monday, May 7th, from Fort Lauderdale's Tarpon River. The experts from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution loaded her into their marine mammal ambulance for the three-hour ride to Orlando's SeaWorld and that facility's rehabilitation center.

Hope survived the trip, but was in critical condition upon arrival. The shock, however, appears to have been too much and Hope passed away around 11:00 am today. She was dehydrated, fatigued and underweight when caught, but put up a valiant fight to avoid capture. She just couldn't understand that being captured early and easily was the thing she most needed to survive.

Original title: Searching For Seals Near Mims?
Originally posted: 3 May 2007

The Stuart News is reporting that a seal has been found near Hobe Sound, Florida. Experts from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution are tracking the 300-pound six-foot long adult seal that swam into the Indian River Lagoon (see map) in what may be a first for such a mammal. They are following the animal in a boat and keeping other vessels away.

"What we know is this is very unusual," said Greg Bossart, Harbor Branch's director of marine mammal research and conservation. "Especially in the Indian River this might be a first." He said seals are normally found in the arctic or possibly as far south as the Jersey Shore. The scientists think the seal is a hooded seal similar to two that came ashore on the Treasure Coast in September.