Seaside Park, NJ – Meet the first rescued baby seal of 2022
A malnourished baby gray seal has been rescued from the dunes of Seaside Park.
Someone walking the beach noticed the seal pup, and called the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.
According to information posted to their Facebook page, the MMSC believes the seal is only about a month old because she was still covered in her white birthing coat.
The new patient, officially known as gray seal #22-001, is doing well in "fish school" and is starting to eat on her own today. This little pup will stay with us until she has gained more weight before being released back into the wild. - Marine Mammal Stranding Center, Brigantine/Facebook
Typically, these baby seals nurse for only about two weeks before they are left to fend for themselves. It does not appear, however, the pup learned to feed on her own, resulting in low body weight.
Since being transferred to the center's Brigantine facilities, the pup has been learning how to hunt by chasing minnows in a pool. They describe her as both alert and aggressive.
Ultimately, the goal is to release the deal pup back into the wild after she gains some weight and can demonstrate she can feed herself.
The pup likely made her way to New Jersey from Seal Island, Maine. Hundreds of gray seals land on the island each year to give birth.
This pup made the 400-plus mile trek down the Atlantic coast before coming ashore in New Jersey likely due to hunger and exhaustion.