SAN CLEMENTE DEL TUYU, Argentina — Three severely malnourished seal cubs have been fed a steady diet of liquefied fish at a marine life rehabilitation center and released back into the ocean.
The South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis) were found in recent weeks at three different locations on the Argentine coast, and all were suffering from malnourishment.
After several weeks of care, they were released back into the sea, off the coast of San Clemente del Tuyu in the eastern Argentine province of Buenos Aires.
The second seal was found in early November near La Lucila del Mar, and the third in mid-November in the spa area of La Balandra.
All three ended up at the foundation, where they were treated and later released together.
The seals’ recovery was challenging, foundation veterinarian Juan Pablo Loureiro said in a statement obtained by Zenger News.
“The first seal had lost a lot of weight and had breathing problems which needed treatment with antibiotics,” Loureiro said. “To bring its weight up, it was given a liquid formula with vitamins, minerals and liquefied fish.”
The other two seals were treated for dehydration and malnourishment.
“Such young animals travel further afield and spend a lot of time searching for food, as they do not have any partner to persuade them to stay in their group,” said foundation biologist Sergio Rodriguez Heredia.
The foundation was involved in a similar rescue mission earlier this year that involved four South American fur seals and two southern elephant seals, Zenger reported.
(Edited by Matthew B Hall and Fern Siegel)