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Images: Rehabilitated Harp Seal Returned to Wild

Preparing for release

(Image credit: Laura Poppick)

"Snow", the juvenile harp seal to the far right, entered the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center (MARC) at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine on Jan. 28, after being found stranded in critical condition on a frozen marsh. He stayed at the center for about a month before reentering the wild on Feb. 26. Here, center staff clean his holding tanking before transporting him to a nearby beach.

Measuring up

(Image credit: Laura Poppick)

MARC staff take measurements of all patients before releasing them back into the wild.

Into the kennel

(Image credit: Laura Poppick)

Snow needs a bit of guidance before he scoots into the kennel.

Weighing in

(Image credit: Laura Poppick)

MARC staff record their patients' weights before the animals reenter the wild.


(Image credit: Laura Poppick)

Center staff, volunteers, and students gather to bid farewell to Snow.

Into the wild

(Image credit: Laura Poppick)

Snow returns to the Gulf of Maine after one month of rehabilitation.

Back at the rehab center

(Image credit: Laura Poppick)

Back at the rehab center, this young harp seal pup is still regaining strength after being found severely dehydrated and unresponsive in mid-February. He receives daily care, which includes feeding and medications as needed.

Laura Poppick
Laura Poppick is a contributing writer for Live Science, with a focus on earth and environmental news. Laura has a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Laura has a good eye for finding fossils in unlikely places, will pull over to examine sedimentary layers in highway roadcuts, and has gone swimming in the Arctic Ocean.