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Seal tossed around in nor'easter is tired, but improving at marine animal hospital

Union Leader Correspondent

March 08. 2018 11:11AM

Saco, a gray seal that was rescued earlier this week, appears to be improving. (National Marine Life Center)

SEABROOK — A 2-month-old gray seal that was found near Brown’s Lobster Pound after he was battered around in last week’s intense nor’easter is showing signs of improvement.

The seal, named Saco, is being treated at the National Marine Life Center in Bourne, Mass., and could remain at the marine animal hospital for the next two months as he continues to recover.

“He is doing better and his hydration stats are improving. … He’s not out of the woods yet, but we’re guardedly optimistic at this point,” said Kathy Zagzebski, the center’s executive director.

The nearly 40-pound seal was found Monday morning on Route 286 and was reported to the Seacoast Science Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue Team, which rescued the animal and transported him to the National Marine Life Center.

Zagzebski said Saco is still young and inexperienced and at a point where he’s learning to live on his own.

The nor’easter likely made it tough for him to swim and forage.

“He must have been stuck in the waves and washed ashore,” she said.

While blood was found in his stool when he was first examined, Zagzebski said he doesn’t appear to have any internal bleeding and no significant medical problems.

Much of his treatment has focused on getting him hydrated with fluids given orally and intravenously.

“He’s still pretty stressed out. He spends a lot of the time sleeping. He’s still exhausted from his ordeal in the storm,” she said.

He could remain in their care for up to two months if his recovery goes smoothly.

“We’re just taking it easy,” Zagzebski said.

Saco is the only storm victim to show up at the animal hospital. Zagzebski said he took the last spot as three other seals and 17 sea turtles were already being housed at the facility.

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