For immediate release.
For more information, please contact public relations at (216)995-2110,
Access to the hooded seal is limited; video footage and color slides can be provided.

SEA WORLD OF OHIO REHABILITATES BEACHED BABY HOODED SEAL

RESCUE, REHABILITATION & RELEASE PLANS IN ACTIN

CLEVELAND (March 1997) -- Sea World of Ohio's Animal Care Specialists are caring for a beached junvenile, female hooded seal. Members of the Marine Ariimal Rescue Program at the National Aquarium in Baltimore recovered the young beached seal off the coast of Virginia on Septemberr 28,1996.

After an examination, the rescue tcarn found the seal with significant hair loss, dehydration, and a low body weight of only 90 pounds. She was transported to the National Aquarium in Baltimore for initial treatment of the dehydration and low weight. At the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the young seal responded very well to a nutritional diet of herring and. capelin.

In December, she was transferred to Sea World of Ohio for the continuation of her ehabilitation. The loss of hair is the most significan problem for the seal, as a thick coat of fur is required for survival in the cool waters where she lives. Sea World has placed her in a rehabilitation area where she maintains proper diet, including vitamins and is exposed to varying weather conditions, to aid in the regrowth of her fur.

Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks are among the most successful research and rehabilitation facilities in the world, the result of expertise with killer whales, seals, sea lions and hundreds of other marine mammal rescue exeriences. Every year, Sea World helps rescue hundreds of injured, beached and stranded animals along the U.S. coasts.

In fact, over the last five years, Sea World! has rescued more than 3,000 animals. The goal of our rescue efforts is to rehabilitate these animals, return them to the wild and learn as much as possible to help care for future species. Due to the lack of space at the National Aquarium in Baltirnore and Sea World of Ohio's successful rehiabilitation and release of hooded seals in the past, Sea World was the best candidate for this animal's recuperation. As a charge of the animal care department at Sea World of Ohio, in cooperation with the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the seal has gained approximately 100 pounds and has progressed toward recovery.

Hooded seals are a dark blue-gray color with irregular-shaped skin patches. They get their name from the male's characteristic hoool or enlargement of the nasal sac that is inflated during courtship to attract a female, as an aggressive posture in defense. Males reach lengths of 9 to 10 feet and weigh approximately 900 pounds. Slightly smaller females are only 6 to 7 feet long and weigh approximately 700 pounds. Hooded seals are normally found in Arctic regions, such as Greenland, Iceland and Newfoundland, but some are occasionlly discovered along the coasts of Maine to Florida.

Upon complete recovery, the hooded seal will be released off the coast of Maine by a cooperative effort between the two facilities. Due to the sensitive nature of the seal's rehabilitation and plans for release, access to the hooded seal is limited to the animal care and veterinary staff only.

Sea World of Ohio's successful rehabilitation program contributes to the Anhouser-.Busch Therne Parks continuing commitment to conservation and wildlife preservation.

Sea World of Ohio is an Anheuser-Busch theme Park. Other Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks include the Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla, and Williamsburg, Va.; Adventure island in Tampa; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; Water Country USA in Williamsburg; and the Sea World marine life parks in Orlando, Fla., San Diego, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas. Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks employ more than 15,000 people nationwide. A leader in conservation and education, the Anheuser-Busch Therne Parks maintain an animal information site on the World Wide Web for Students and teachers at www.seaworld.org. To learn more about Sea World, visit the park's interactive web site at www.seaworld.com.

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HOODED SEAL INFORMATION
Species: Cystophora cristata hooded seal
Body: Blue-gray color with irregular-shaped skin patches.
Characteristic cnlarged nasal cavity on males;
inflated during courtship and as an aggressive posture for defense.
Range: Arctic regions and occasionally off the coasts of Maine to Florida.
Diet: Various fishes, squid and octopi.
Length: Males: 9 - 10 feet
Females: 6 - 7 feet
Weight: Males: 900 lbs
Females: 700 lbs
Population: Status is considered stable