BIDDEFORD, Maine (NECN) -- Three young harbor seals found their way back to the ocean in Biddeford Thursday after several months of rehabilitation at the University of New England's Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation Program.
The seals were separated from their mothers and needed care and nutrition to get strong enough to return to the ocean.
17 other seals remain at MARC, and staff says an unusually high number of them have come in with traumatic injuries like shark bites and propeller accidents. According to Kristen Patchett, the Program Manager at MARC," The guys that come in with these injuries are in rough shape, a lot of them are at death's door."
Unlike the seal pups that mostly need nutrition and time to grow, the injured seals have multiple problems like infections. Plus, the program is seeing a disturbing trend. Seals are coming in resistant to anti-biotics.
As of now, there's no explanation for the jump in injured seals. The program says it will be trying to answer that question, but the first priority is helping the animals get healthy.
To help in that effort, the program is hosting a fundraiser called Frolic 4 Flippers. The 5k race and Kids Fun Run will be on September 21st. For more information you can go to http://www.une.edu/frolic