Rescued seal attracts a crowd as he is released back into the seaBy KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent
March 18. 2018 9:03PM
Mack, the harp seal rescued in Hampton last month, returned to the sea Sunday evening.
Hundreds of people gathered at Hampton Beach to watch the juvenile seal as he made his way out of a cage and crawled along the sand into the water.
Members of the Seacoast Science Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue Team determined that Mack needed help on Feb. 15 when he was seen eating sand. He had been spotted the day before with a discharge coming from both eyes; his blood work showed critical dehydration.
Mack was transported to the National Marine Life Center in Bourne, Mass., for care.
On Sunday, sisters Lilyan Krauklin, 8, and Dahlylah Krauklin, 7, of Manchester, were at the beach to see Mack.
They were concerned about the seal after learning that radiographs showed he had rocks in his stomach and asked their grandmother, Debbie Krauklin of Kingston, if they could make the trip to Hampton for the event.
“As soon as I heard about the rocks, I was really sad. I don’t know why, I just was,” Lilyan Krauklin said.
Debbie Krauklin said she frequently brings the girls to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye.
George and Amy Courage, of Salem, Mass., were also at the beach Sunday.
They said they found a baby seal in Hampton last year and called for help, which arrived within 20 minutes.
VIDEO: Mack the seal heads back to the ocean:
Mack, the harp seal rescued in Hampton last month, returned to the sea this evening! pic.twitter.com/eXnBGrTSuK
— Kimberley Haas (@KimberleyHaas) March 18, 2018
Amy Courage said she was inspired by the people who contributed to Mack’s successful recovery. He was able to bounce back and start eating fish within a week.
“It’s just nice to see people help animals getting back to doing their thing,” Amy Courage said.
Matt Cohn and Jo-Anne Walsh of Nashua were equipped with their cameras to photograph the event.
“I’ve never seen an animal be released into the water,” Matt Cohn said.
It took Mack just 2½ minutes to work his way from his cage into the water. Supporters cheered him along, and he turned to look at the crowd before swimming away.