Menu Bar

Home           Calendar           Topics          Just Charlestown          About Us

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Another successful seal release

Mystic Aquarium Marine Animal Rescue team sends Poppy back home
Text and photos by Will Collette

Delayed by this morning’s traffic snarl (a truck roll-over on I-95), the Mystic Aquarium team arrived at Charlestown’s Blue Shutters Beach late, unlike their usual punctual, well-drilled routine and struggled to get set up to release Poppy, a one year old female harbor seal, back into the ocean.

Poppy had been found near Provincetown last March with a severe head wound, other injuries and dehydration and was taken to Mystic for healing before release.

But she healed quickly and from where I stood, looked perky and healthy.

Poppy did not want to leave the kennel
Apparently because of the traffic delay, the team got ready to release her without the usual small presentation via loud speaker about the animal and the whole rescue program and simply popped open the door to her travel kennel.

But Poppy was not interested in going. I’ve seen over a dozen seals get returned to the wild, but Poppy takes the prize – so far – for being the most unwilling to go. After coaxing failed, the team members tipped her kennel to give her the hint that it was time to go.

Nah-Uh. So they tipped the kennel over even further till finally Poppy got the hint with a pretty good assist from gravity.

But once she was free of the kennel, to the delight of the nice sized beach crowd, Poppy made a prompt beeline for the water. She let a wave wash over her and then pushed on through the surf and out to sea. The crowd clapped and cheered.

About 100 yards out, she popped her head up to look back and then she was gone.

The Mystic Aquarium does good work. I can’t find the words to convey how much I admire their sea animal rescue program. Cathy and I joined the Aquarium, largely on the merits of this program. I’d urge you to think about doing it, too.

They have a fund-raiser coming up soon on June 21 for the benefit of this program. Click here for more information.

One last look back