Last week the National Aquarium in Baltimore released a grey seal back into the wild at Gateway National Recreation Area's Sandy Hook Unit. The seal, named after a Harry Potter character, had been found stranded on an Ocean City, Maryland beach in May of this year.
The Aquarium’s animal rescue team released “Luna Lovegood” at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey after she made a full recovery. Luna was suffering from pneumonia and lacerations when rescued. She was treated for dehydration and a case of lung worms. During treatment and recovery at the National Aquarium, she managed to gain 20 pounds.
Staff from the National Park Service, American Littoral Society and Clean Ocean Action were on hand to see Luna return to her natural habitat. Expectations are that she would make her way north from Sandy Hook. Gray or Atlantic seal typically congregate off the coast of Maine, Massachusetts and Southern Canada during summers. Colonies of them have been sighted as far south as North Carolina during winter months.
Luna is the second seal to be rescued and released by the National Aquarium this year. A male harbor seal nicknamed “Phil” came into the care facility in April and was released at Gateway National Recreation Area in July. He was the 200th animal rescue release since the National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue program was founded in 1991.