Subject: Case Study-When to release a seal

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Mon, 18 Sep 1994 21:29:00

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Subject: Case Study-When to release a seal
From:	SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 17-SEP-1994 15:53:14.77
Subj:	Seal Rehab.
Date:         Fri, 16 Sep 1994 22:47:43 EDT
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Sender:       Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Comments:     Warning -- original Sender: tag was rbaird@SOL.UVIC.CA
Subject:      Seal Rehab.
X-To:         MARMAM@uvvm.bitnet
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
As an experienced pinniped rehabilitator it has been my practice to use 55
LBS. as a minimum release weight for harbor seals (phoca vitulina richardsi).
This is based on the natural release weight being from 53-66 LBS. I recently
have become aware that a major marine mammal rehabilitation center uses very
different release criteria. It is their practice to release orphaned harbor
seal pups from 29 -45 LBS. Frequently these pups are still being tube fed,
have never eaten a fish on their own, have abnormal blood values, suppurating
ear infections, or seal pox. To my way of thinking, this is irresponsible
rehabilitation. A 30 LB. seal that will not free feed, and is still suckling
on his penmates has very little chance for survival in the wild. Any animal
showing abnormal blood values, pus running out of an orifice, or any signs of
disease should not be released.
I would be very interested to hear other opinions on this subject.
Jeff Lederman  < Phocid@ AOL.Com>