The Marine Mammal Stranding Center has given a health update on the harbor seal who washed up on Long Beach Island after being bitten by a shark.

Seal Washes Up on LBI Beach After Being Bitten By Shark

The seal was found lying on the beach in Surf City, Long Beach Island on Christmas morning with a large laceration on its left hip, and several smaller wounds on its abdomen around its tail.

According to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, the yearling, likely born last spring, was immediately transported to MMSC for medical treatment and supportive care. Upon his arrival, staff administered fluids and flushed out his wounds. During his medical examination, MMSC's veterinarian determined the likely cause of the wound was a shark bite.

What's the Seal's Condition?

The young seal weighed 57.4 pounds when taken to the Brigantine-based MMSC. On Tuesday, the Stranding Center said the young seal was quickly on the mend.

We are happy to report that our first patient of the season has started eating on his own and has a very healthy appetite, consuming about 1.5lbs of herring and capelin three times daily. We are also happy to share that his wounds are starting to show improvement.


How Common Are Harbor Seals in Water off of New Jersey?

Harbor seals are one of the most common marine mammals along the U.S. East Coast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA.

Harbor seals grow to weigh up to 285 pounds and to 6 feet long. The seals gather in New Jersey in the fall and usually stay through March or April.

The largest "haul-out" resting site for seals in New Jersey is the Atlantic and Ocean counties' Great Bay. Each winter, hundreds of seals gather there, as well as in Gateway National Recreation Area and Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island.

What's Next for the Recovering Seal?

The MMSC says the animal is likely to make a full recovery and will eventually be released back into the wild. You are encouraged to donate to the good work of Brigantine's Marine Mammal Stranding Center.

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