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BAMZ ‘cautiously optimistic’ over seal

Centre of attention: the grey seal pulled from Catherine Rocks, St George’s and taken to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo on Tuesday, on the road to recovery

A grey seal rescued in the East End is on the mend, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo said yesterday.

Staff added they were “cautiously optimistic” that the female seal would make a full recovery and could be released back into the wild. The hungry and dehydrated seal was spotted at Catherine Rock, St George’s, near Tobacco Bay, on Tuesday.

The animal is now eating and has started a course of antibiotics for a suspected upper respiratory infection.

The animal is being kept in a quarantine tank with a heater to help conserve its energy.

Ian Walker, curator at BAMZ, said: “She is pretty hungry, but we have to feed her slowly. We have herring supplies for our own seals, which is lucky.

“The first 72 hours are important, so we are proceeding with caution.

“We took blood and gave her a full physical exam this morning, but didn’t do about a quarter of the exam because she was getting tired and was shaking.

“The blood work is showing she has an infection — she has nasal discharge so it is probably upper respiratory. She is also suffering from dehydration and exhaustion.

“We remain cautiously optimistic, but these things can take a sudden turn.”

Dr Walker added that if the seal recovered well it would be transferred to an aquarium in the United States to complete rehabilitation and returned to its natural habitat.

He said: “There is nothing suggesting she can’t be released.

“If she was missing flippers or had a spinal injury then she would be a candidate for going into a collection, whether ours or someone else’s, and she could act as an ambassador animal.

“We couldn’t release her in Bermuda — she needs to be released off a beach somewhere off the North East corridor.”