A gray seal pup too young to survive independently in the ocean was rescued earlier this year by the National Aquarium. The creature was found stranded and dehydrated on Assateague Island National Shoreline, the aquarium said.
Nicknamed Louis Armstrong in keeping with the 2021-22 rescue season’s theme of musicians and instruments, the pup arrived Feb. 26 at the Animal Care and Rescue Center in Baltimore, according to a press release. Louis had facial and left fin injuries and weighed 35 pounds.
Staff members believe Louis was born in January and would have died had he not been rescued.
“Louis is a vocal and feisty pup who doesn’t hesitate to make noise to let rescue personnel know when it’s time for a meal,” the statement read. “And his caregivers at the Aquarium describe him as having a great personality.”
The pup has been treated with antibiotics and is learning to master swimming and foraging independently. He will be returned to the ocean after passing several health checks, including reaching a weight of 50 pounds.
The baby seal is the third mother-dependent seal admitted to the ACRC in the past year, the National Aquarium said. The seal rescue season in the mid-Atlantic generally lasts from early winter until May.
If you see a stranded seal, don’t touch it or approach it, the aquarium said. Keep a distance of at least 150 feet. Note the location and time and immediately contact the National Aquarium’s Stranded Animal Hotline at 410-576-3880.