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Two Years in the Making - "Mr. Elusive" is Free at Last

Rescuers from The Marine Mammal Center and Point Reyes remove an entanglement that had been around this elephant seal's neck for over two years.
© Point Reyes National Seashore



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He's eluded rescue attempts to free him in the past, but on Jan. 10, 2012, Park Service rangers notified veterinarians and volunteers from The Marine Mammal Center that the seal was spotted near Drake's Beach. On site, the Center's rescue crew assembled alongside volunteers from Point Reyes and were able to sedate the large subadult male seal (estimated to be between 700-1,000 lb.) in order to remove the thick red packing strap that was wrapped tightly around his neck.

"This field disentanglement is one of many northern elephant seals seriously harmed (injured) by negative human interaction, and one that we've been able to help," explained  Dr. Bill Van Bonn, Director of Veterinary
Science at The Marine Mammal Center."It's what we all work for, and it's gratifying when it all goes this smoothly, especially after such a long time tracking this animal."

Once the packing strap was cut away, veterinarians evaulated and cleaned the wound, and with no further medical complications present, "Mr. Elusive" as he was nicknamed, returned back to the ocean.


Viewing of elephant seals during mating and pupping season at Año Nuevo State Reserve

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