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Stout Survives a Severe Entanglement


Ocean trash poses a significant threat to wildlife. This is the story of Stout, a northern elephant seal who was rescued by The Marine Mammal Center in 2001 with a severe entanglement injury caused by discarded fishing net.

Stout - Entangled Elephant Seal
Stout was found in Monterey, entangled in heavy fishing net


Stout is a young male elephant seal rescued in Monterey with a discarded heavy fishing net entangled around his neck and head. Our veterinarians carefully removed 10 lbs of barnacle-laden nylon net from Stout’s neck, revealing a deep wound where the net had cut through his muscle and blubber layer. If he hadn't been rescued, the net around Stout’s neck would have tightened as he grew, causing severe infection, and eventually death. Once the net was removed, veterinarians flushed the wound and administered antibiotics to clear up his infection.

Netting removed from Stout
10 lbs of fish netting removed from Stout

Stout’s demeanor began to improve immediately and he quickly regained his appetite, eating whole fish and diving for food again. Marine mammals show an incredible resilience and often can heal quickly once netting is removed. We’re proud to say that Stout made a full recovery and was released.

Stout After Fishing Net is Removed
Stout after the entangled fishing net is removed




Visit The Ghost Below art exhibit and learn more about ocean trash!

Learn about elephant seals!

Find out how to call in a rescue - Leave Seals Be!


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