Seal Pup Dies After Being Found With Broken Jaw and Puncture Wounds to Head on Rhode Island Beach

A gray seal pup has died after being found with a broken jaw and head puncture wounds on a Rhode Island beach.

An animal rescue team at the Connecticut-based Mystic Aquarium arrived at Blue Shutters Beach on Tuesday to find the seal in a critical condition.

The pup was taken to the aquarium's animal hospital where veterinarians gave it antibiotics and pain medication. The seal's wounds however were too severe and the pup passed away.

In an email to Newsweek, the aquarium said that it is very common for the rescue team to find stranded seal pups, with or without injuries.

Gray seals are endemic to the North Atlantic, and can be found in the Baltic Sea, western Europe to Canada and Northeastern United States.

It is not uncommon for young seals to become stranded shortly after being weaned from their mother.

Sarah Callan, of the Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Program, said in a press release: "I can speak for our whole Animal Rescue Team in thanking the local community for respecting this animal and giving the seal space.

"Over the past few days, our team met some incredible people who live in the area and helped ensure the safety of this pup. Responses like this show how invested our community is in the conservation and protection of local wildlife."

Gray seals are the second most likely seal species to be encountered in Rhode Island, after harbor seals. Seals in this part of the ocean usually give birth between December and February. When they are born, gray seals are born with a thick, white coat called launugo to keep them warm while they gain weight.

Another stranded seal pup was found by the rescue team earlier this week. The other seal was found on Misquamicut State Beach, Rhode Island, however it seemed bright, alert, and responsive. It was presumed to be a three week old female. Unlike the other pup, this one was in good condition.

The pup had hydration rings around her eyes, which were an indicator of her good health.

The rescue team safeguarded the pup for several days, and monitored it from a close distance. The team remained on scene, keeping an eye on her, until she returned to the ocean on her own. They continued to monitor her with binoculars until she eventually swam out of view.

The team urged local people to call rescue professionals and keep a distance if they come across a stranded seal.

Seal
The healthy pup that was found on a Rhode Island beach. The rescue team maintained a safe distance from it. Mystic Aquarium/Mystic Aquarium