The Cape Elizabeth Two will soon taste freedom again.
The two wayward seals have been recovering at Marine Mammals of Maine’s Brunswick facility since they were found stranded on the streets of Cape Elizabeth in January.
Both seals came to Marine Mammals of Maine underweight and required “around the clock care,” with multiple feedings and treatments daily.
The seals eventually “graduated” to larger enclosures after mastering eating fish, and now they are healthy enough to return to the sea.
“We’re thrilled that both are now healthy enough to return to the wild, where we hope they will thrive back in their own environment,” Lynda Doughty, executive director of Marine Mammals of Maine, said Monday.
These two young seals were underweight and required around the clock care after they were saved in Cape Elizabeth back in January. Credit: Courtesy of Marine Mammals of Maine
One of the two seals was famously saved after police found him wandering the streets of Cape Elizabeth during a late January snowstorm. The gray seal pup, likely recently left to his own devices by his mother, repeatedly defied attempts by police to nudge him toward the ocean before he came into the care of Marine Mammals of Maine.
Unlike harbor seals, which are born in the summer months, gray seals give birth between December and February. Maine is in the middle of the seals’ Nova Scotia-to-Massachusetts nursery territory.
While harbor seal mothers wean their pups at around four weeks of age and then spend time showing the young ones how to fish and take care of themselves, gray seals don’t.
The other seal also was found wandering the streets of a Cape Elizabeth neighborhood earlier that same month.
The public can attend the seals’ return to the ocean at 11 a.m. Thursday at Head Beach in Phippsburg. It’s a private beach, and Marine Mammals of Maine urged people to stay on designated paths, carry out any trash and not bring pets.