Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

New life for stranded seal pup

Pup 49 had one of her two hind flippers amputated to prevent an infection from spreading throughout her body (AP)
Pup 49 was rescued in July 2012 on a beach in Plymouth, Massachusetts
Pup 49 swims in a pool at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut (AP)

A harbour seal pup is charming visitors at a US aquarium eight months after she was found stranded on a beach suffering from deep, infected wounds inflicted by an older seal.

The seal was between one and two months old when rescuers from Boston's New England Aquarium found her.

She was suffering from a respiratory infection and had lost a lot of weight when she was taken to Connecticut's Mystic Aquarium.

Veterinarians amputated one of her two hind flippers when infection began spreading to other bones and threatened the life of the seal, known as Pup 49.

The surgery was successful, but federal fisheries regulators determined the seal should not be released back into the wild because she is a weaker, less agile swimmer and might have trouble getting food.

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