The Brightside: National Aquarium is making waves with their rescue efforts

BALTIMORE, Md. – Every year, sea turtles and seals across the northern East Coast are rescued and released back into the ocean by the National Aquarium Animal Rescue.

Margot Madden, the Senior Rehab Biologist for the National Aquarium said, “Everyone definitely loves animals around here.”

Often times, the National Aquarium invites people to watch its releases at Assateague, but what people don’t get to see is the process of rescuing these animals.

It all starts with getting the sea life back to their facility in Baltimore so the experts can conduct an exam to figure out exactly what is going on with them.

Madden said, “Once we are able to see why is that patient at our treatment plant, our next focus is to get the animal to swim, to eat well, to start packing on their calories.”

For days, weeks, even months, the team at the National Aquarium works hard to get their rescues back to tip top physical shape.

Madden said, “Once an animal is at a good body condition and off all medication and their body is all healed, we are then able to consider them for release.”

One of their most recent releases was Pippi Longstocking, a seal that was rescued at a Delaware beach at just one month old and kept at their facility for a record breaking 9 months.

Madden said, “All our cases are a success when we’re able to get them to the beach, especially Pippi’s case. It’s hard not to be on the beach and feel all the butterflies and goosebumps and just all your hard work paying off.”

This team is so dedicated to helping sea life like Pippi, they often give up time with loved ones just to get them better.

“Our job is definitely taxing. There’s high emotions, it’s not a normal 9-5 job. We’re here throughout the night sometimes and holidays,” Madden said.

We’re told that hard work though is what makes their releases at Assateague so rewarding.

Madden said, “So when we get to that place of being on the beach, its really just reassurance that those long nights and long days are really worth it.”

So the next time you catch a release at Assateague, keep in mind all the hard work it took to get to that moment.

Categories: Brightside, Local News, Maryland