If you think seals are peaceful creatures, think again. An 8-month old female harbor seal suffered a brutal attack by an older seal a couple of months ago. This left her with deep wounds all over her entire body. After the attack, the seal was left with absolutely no strength to even get away when rescuers found her.
Currently, the seal that goes by the name of Pup 49, is adjusting to life without one of her hind flippers. This was due to an amputation by veterinarians at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut in order to prevent an infection from spreading throughout the rest of her body. So far her progress has been pretty good. In fact, she is now is quick to dive after sardines that are tossed into her tank and fixes her large, dark eyes on the aquarium workers the moment they step onto a special platform to feed her. There are times some she even actively swims to the platform’s edge and attempts to haul herself from the water onto it. However, to make it easier for her to get out, a special ramp was built. “She has a really inquisitive and interested personality, and she is very interactive with the environment around her,” stated Mystic Aquarium veterinarian Allison Tuttle, who is in charge of the pup’s treatment and care.
None of that personality seem to be present during the time when workers found the seal stranded back last July. According to Allison, she was between 1 to 2 months old and was nursing very deep wounds that were infected. In fact, she did not in any way respond well to either the cleaning or the medical treatment. After the vets realised that the infection had spread over to other bones, they concluded that her flipper had to be amputated. It was a decision not taken lightly, especially when the hind flippers of seals are the parts of their body which they use to navigate around while swimming. For Pup 49, it meant learning to use her left front flipper to guide her.
“I’m a mom and, you know, you think about something happening to your child and how hard that must have been. It feels like you can understand how hard it was and almost make it personal,” said Sharlene Cirillo, an aquarium visitor who was touched by the story of the seal’s tragedy. For more of the story, you can read it here.
If you are looking for swimming lessons in Singapore, be sure to check out Happy Fish Swim School. If a seal is able to learn to swim again with one less flipper, then humans shouldn’t have that much of a trouble either. Be sure to check out our website to learn more!