• The very first patient of the Center for study and conservation of marine mammals this year was a female gray seal found near Shepelev lighthouse in the Lomonosov district

  • Pup found in Kronstadt park near Cape Shantsev is the active most and noisy patient of the Center. He was suspected to have pneumonia, but now he is healthy and constantly requires fish

  • Ladoga ringed seal Female, who was admitted for rehabilitation on April 12, was hit hard by birds pecks. When she was brought to the Centre, she was bleeding. Now the seal recovering

  • This male Ladoga ringed seal is the smallest patient for the entire eight years of rehabilitation of Elena Andriyevskaya and Vyacheslav Alekseev. On admission to the Centre he weighed only 4.1 kg

  • A gray seal female rescued at the Fifth North Fort in Kronstadt is the most timid and cautious patient this season. Fortunately, she does not have serious injury or illness

  • Ladoga ringed seal Male waited for mother on the shores of one of the rivers flowing into Lake Ladoga for three days. When villagers of Sviritsa realized that mother wouldn’t not come, they called to the Center and he was taken to rehabilitation

  • Initially, zoologists seriously worried whether the Baltic ringed seal delivered to the Center with festering wounds and a fractured jaw can survive or not. Now the condition of the animal has stabilized

  • At first the female of gray seal found in the center of Vyborg, on Castle Island, was either on the verge of death due to severe intoxication, which caused numerous parasites

    This puppy - just a small baby – was found on the banks of the Neva River by residents of Otradnoe in the Kirov district of Leningrad region. It is the male of the Ladoga ringed seal

    This female of Ladoga ringed seal crawled in search of salvation to the garden of the inhabitants of the Syasstroy city in Volkhov district, Leningrad region

Tough Season - 2015: Center for Study and Conservation of Marine Mammals Patients

In 2015 the season of seals rehabilitation started two weeks later than in 2014 - not in the middle, but at the end of March. Almost immediately, St. Petersburg Center for study and conservation of marine mammals in Repino started to receive difficult patients. The exact cause is hard to be found out without a comprehensive study, but zoologists suggest that the reason is unusual ice conditions in the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga.

In 2014, the ice cover of reservoirs rapidly destroyed, and one of the first storms in March brought ice with a large number of seals - females and calves - into the waters of the Marquis puddle through a dam. Almost immediately after the storm lost ones started to be found in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region. These were the puppies of gray seals and ringed seals, separated from their mothers prematurely. «Indeed, the newborn young seals quickly got in urban areas and in densely populated areas of the Leningrad region. They were found by people walking along the shores of the Gulf, many puppies were found in St. Petersburg, - commented Elena Andrievskaya, the researcher of the Baltic seal Friends Foundation. - Almost all of them were alone not for a long time – they were found right after separation from their moms, or a few days later».

Spring 2015 has started very differently. Ice on the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga lasted longer. And after it crumbling large ice masses, on which were females with cubs of seals, were wandering across the waters of the reservoir for a long time. Apparently, this led to rather tragic events.

«We assume that the puppies stayed on the ice for some time after separation from the females. Some youngsters fell in remote or sparsely populated places of the coast, where they were for a long time, no one has found. Some of them simply haven't come to the shore, - Director of the Baltic seal Friends Foundation Vyacheslav Alekseev adds. – That's why so many of our patients were admitted to the center in a very exhausted state. In addition, puppies on the open ice were vulnerable to birds and other predators, and many of them have serious injuries. The current season of rehabilitation turned out to be very heavy for us».

The most common injuries of puppies admitted to the Centre for rehabilitation are pecker traces. Predatory birds are aim directly in the eyes or fins, which are the most vulnerable parts of the body of young animals. An additional factor is high level of stress: at the moment of arrival at the safe place puppies are already tired to fight for life and are totally exhausted. This factor is especially dangerous for the ringed seal, animals that are very unstable to stress by nature. That is why they are hard to find, for example, in zoos and aquariums.

«Stress most likely caused the deaths of two of our patients, the females of the Ladoga ringed seal, - continues Vyacheslav Alekseev. - One of them died immediately after entering the Center, and the second one was already taken to the Center in a state of clinical death after seizures and respiratory arrest, and despite the fact that we were able to restore breathing and heart activity, we lost her - she died in one day».

«Heavy» refers to a female of the Baltic gray seal, the patient of the Center for Study and conservation of marine mammals, who arrived at the rehabilitation from Vyborg. She has severe intoxication from helminthic invasion. The reason is unfavorable epidemiological situation in the northern part of the Gulf of Finland. Experts of the Station of fighting against animal diseases even issued a warning that the fish in the Gulf of Vyborg is dangerous for human consumption, as it is infected with opisthorchiasis, a serious parasitic disease that is transmitted to man.

And another patient, which is now struggling for life which is now in Repino. The Baltic ringed seal was found near the village of Kandikyulya in Lomonosov district of the Leningrad region. She got serious injuries a week or two before joining the Centre. It is possible that she hit the ice or coastal rocks. By the way the seal could have started adult life quite successfully without those injuries - a broken jaw, extensive phlegmons on the face and neck, and a large traumatic injury and inflammation of the right eyeball. Experts of the Center were able to beat the inflammatory process, but it's too early to speak about the full recovery of the animal. «The hope is there - Elena Andrievskaya says. - There is a possibility that we will even be able to save the injured eye of the seal. However, it is obvious that it will require a significantly longer recovery period than for other patients».

We remind you that still you can meet young seals on the shores of the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga. And maybe they need help. Remember, only specialists can save these animals: it is likely that the baby has already started their own adult life, and he does not need rehabilitation. However, in case of an unusual meeting, be sure to inform the hotline of the Baltic seals Friends Foundation: 699-23-99. Try to describe the animal as accurately as possible: the size, the color of the wool, its behavior. And then follow the instructions precisely. Well, if you rarely come to the beach but still want to help the rare animals of the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga, visit the website of the Baltic seals Friends Foundation. The page "How to Help" has detailed instructions on how to do it.

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