Many harbor seals washed up along Georgetown’s shores in 2018, the victims of an outbreak of phocine distemper. In 2019, there has been an unusually high number of stranded Arctic harp seals. They appear dehydrated, perhaps due to below average snowfall along the coast.
Sometimes they’re just resting. This young harbor seal came ashore at the mouth of the Kennebec a few years ago and was found to have been bitten by a shark. Responders from Marine Mammal hotline took it to the Harpswell rehab center for a little wound tending before re-release.
Photo Credit: Jeff Preslaff
If you find a stranded seal, please keep yourself and others at least 150 feet away and call the Marine Mammal Reporting Hotline at 1-800-552-9551 as soon as you can.
The Marine Mammal rehabilitation center is located in Harpswell. They have a network of trained local volunteers, and respond quickly. https://www.mmome.org/