Aquarium provides tips for people who spot seal pups

February 6, 2022 GMT

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — It’s seal pup season, and the Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program has some tips for people who spot the animals along the shores of Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Pups, after nursing for three to four weeks after birth, begin to learn how to survive on their own, a crucial period for their transition into adulthood, the aquarium said in a statement.

Anyone who sees a seal pup on shore alone should stay at least 150 feet away and call the 24-hour Animal Rescue Hotline at 860-572-5955 ext. 107. The rescue staff will either send trained responders to monitor the health of the animal or collect a sick or injured animal in need of medical attention.

People should not touch, feed, or attempt to help the pup.

Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program has responded to two hotline calls for young seal pups along the shoreline this season. A pup spotted on Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly appeared healthy and eventually swam away.

A second pup spotted this week on Blue Shutters Town Beach in Charlestown had a broken jaw and multiple puncture wounds on its head. Veterinarians tried to save the seal but it eventually died.