The plight of the young injured seal on Crane Beach yesterday prompted a lot of concern and spurred a rescue party in to action.
Previous efforts to contact the New England Aquarium in Boston proved fruitless. However, a couple of hours after the article was posted, Robin Leonard was able to contact an animal rescue group.
The article was posted around 7 p.m. yesterday, and Leonard reported at 9:20 p.m. that LauraLee Poirier and another rescuer were on their way to Ipswich.
Since the gates close at sunset, they had to ask Ipswich police to open the gates and let them in. They were met there by Joanna Surette and her son, Cameron, with supplies to help remove the animal, Leonard said.
However, by the time the rescue party hit the beach, the seal had slipped back in to the water.
Leonard reported this morning that, “It looks like the seal somehow made it back into the ocean. However, if it does show up again the rangers will call John and LauraLee to come back to help.”
At 1:25 p.m., Chris Christoforo of Northridge Road, reported seeing an injured seal “going in and out of sight.” Christoforo said he called the aquarium and police.
About an hour later, he said the aquarium told him injuries can sometimes look worse than they are. He was also told that if the seal was swimming it meant it was looking for food and would probably survive.
The rangers on site and many people who read the article expressed surprise that the New England Aquarium was unable to help.
This is because the aquarium’s response area ranges from Salem to Plymouth, according to their website. However, the site recommends calling the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) office at (866) 755-6622. It covers the area from Beverly to Salisbury.
The NOAA has a program to rescue mammals and sea turtles.
On the beach yesterday, rangers were stopping the public from approaching the injured seal. The aquarium also recommends staying away from seals on the beach. “Seals can and will bite if they feel threatened. They can also carry diseases that can be easily transmitted to dogs, as well as humans,” it said. The NOAA added they may also carry parasites or disease.