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Wounded Seal Found On Puerto Rican Beach - Thousands of Miles From Home

July 22, 1993 GMT

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ A wayward seal, found with shark bites thousands of miles from its natural habitat, will be transported to the mainland United States to complete its recovery.

″This is the farthest south seals have been sighted,″ Antonio Mignucci, scientific coordinator of the Caribbean Stranding Network in the southwestern port of La Parguera, said Thursday.

Mignucci said the 5-month-old, 72-pound male hooded seal, usually found in the North Atlantic off Canada and Greenland, was found Saturday on a beach in Camuy, on this U.S. commonwealth’s north coast. A Coast Guard helicopter flew the wounded animal to the marine recovery center in La Parguera.

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The seal, named ″Camuy″ by rescue workers, was being fed fish gruel with cod liver oil and treated for its wounds. Workers placed ice blocks every two hours into Camuy’s small pool to keep him cool.

Mignucci said the seal would be placed in a dog cage aboard a cargo plane and flown Friday to Miami, then transported to Sea World in Orlando, Fla. Another juvenile seal, found last week off Cocoa Beach, Fla., was being treated there Thursday.

Mignucci said juvenile seals sometimes stray from their natural habitat.

The network said Camuy would eventually be transported to the Sea World outside Cleveland, where the lower water temperatures would help it recover.

West Indian monk seals were once plentiful in the Caribbean, but were wiped out in the region by the early 1940s.