On the morning of Friday, April 5, our phone rang.
On the other end of the phone, Lynda Doughty, Director of local stranding response organization, Marine Mammals of Maine. She had a reports of a young gray seal hanging out on the docks of Portland, Maine, and was sending a volunteer into the field to check it out.
On the docks of local organization, Sail Maine, rested a young, male grey seal. Just a mere 3 months old, the seal was dehydrated, underweight, and suffering from an injury to his mouth, which was causing some associated swelling of his face. It was decided that the animal would be collected and tranported to us, the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center, for stabilization and further medical attention.
What the seal didn’t know was that he would soon earn the title of the “1000th Animal helped by the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center”. Dubbed “Hubba Bubba” in our annual naming theme (this year is Candy), this young gray seal has now become the face of the work that we have collectively done to help individual seals, turtles, cetaceans since we opened in 2001.
Opening in August of 2001, MARC started with a small staff and a handful of volunteers capable of helping a handful of animals annually. Over the years, MARC has grown to help an average of 100 animals each year - utilization hundreds of students, interns and community volunteers throughout the years. Every animal that we see, each and every one of the first 1000, has been given the best care we can provide – and a shot at a second chance at life. Not every animal gets a chance to live out in the wild again, despite all efforts to help them, but for the ones that do, we know that we are making a difference for those individuals.
Hubba Bubba’s prognosis is good. With some solid nutrition, antibiotics and lots of fluid during his first week at MARC – we’re already seeing him making improvements. He’s a feisty guy and we expect him to make a full recovery during his stay with us. He doesn’t know how important he is in our milestone to reach 1000 animals. He’s just happy to be alive.
We’d like to thank everyone that has impacted MARC during our first 1000 animals. Volunteers, students, community supporters, and donors alike, none of our work is possible without you.
Cheers to Hubba Bubba! And here’s to the next 1000 animals.
To continue to support every animal that deserves a second chance, consider making a contribution today. Every dollar supplies a pound of fish. More contributions = More medications, diagnostics and treatments for Hubba Bubba and future patients at MARC.