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Thursday, May 20, 2010

National Aquarium Releases Rescued Harbor Seal

The National Aquarium, located in Baltimore, Maryland, released a rescued harbor seal back into the ocean May 13, 2010. The seal, named Hastings, had been in disrepair when he was picked up by the aquarium's Marine Animal Rescue Program in January. He had cuts on his fins, a slight case of pneumonia, was underweight, and severely dehydrated. Five months at the aquarium did Hastings well, enjoying his send-off into the waters of Maryland's Ocean City, even with a transmitter strapped to his back. The transmitter will inform aquarium staff about his feeding and migration patterns and hopefully will show that he has made a full recovery.

Harbor seals are not endangered animals, with a global population of around half a million. The illegalization of seal hunting across most of the world has raised the population to a healthy number. Harbor seals subsist off of numerous species of fish, with a crab, shrimp, or squid added in sporatically. They are able to stay underwater for up to ten minutes and can reach depths of 1500 feet or more.

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