Seal With Amputated Flipper Needs a Name

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mystic is taking care of a seal that was badly injured and needed a flipper amputation. This video is courtesy of Mystic Aquarium. (Published Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013)

    A harbor seal that survived a life-threatening infection and a flipper amputation is now known as Pup 49, but Mystic Aquarium wants your help to find a more suitable name for her.

    Pup 49 is the seal's rehabilitation number, and volunteers at Mystic Aquarium, who cared for the harbor seal during her rehabilitation selected five names, all names of harbors, for public voting -- Coral, Grace, Hope, Madison and Mystic – and you can vote online through Sunday, April 21.

    The seal came to Mystic Aquarium’s Seal Rescue Clinic on July 16, 2012, after New England Aquarium rescued her in Plymouth, Massachusetts 10 days earlier.

    She was suffering from a respiratory ailment and swollen rear, left flipper. Despite intensive treatment for her flipper, the seal developed a life-threatening infection in her bone and ankle joint that continued to get worse.

    On Nov. 26, Mystic Aquarium’s veterinary team amputated the seal’s infected flipper.

    She has recovered well but NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service decided she cannot be released because she is a weaker, less agile swimmer and requires more effort to haul out of the water compared to seals with two rear flippers.

    So now, Pup 49 is living at Mystic Aquarium’s Aquatic Animal Study Center, where she has a special ramp that helps her get out of the water with ease.

    You can see her through at least Sunday, April 28, when she will then be moved off display for training.