Stranded seal was ‘dehydrated and consuming sand.’ Watch him get a second chance

A seal galumphs excitedly toward the water, his belly flopping against the sand with each movement.

It’s finally time for the aquatic creature to return to his home.

Two months ago, a team from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, New Jersey, found the harp seal on the beach in dire condition.

“This adult male originally stranded in February, weighing 150lbs, dehydrated, and consuming sand,” the nonprofit said in an April 9 Facebook post.

150 pounds may sound like a fine weight, but for a male seal of his size, this is underweight. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, harp seals are “about 5 to 6 feet long” and “weigh about 260 to 300 pounds.”

Clearly, something was very wrong.

The seal visited the ICU and underwent weeks of rehabilitation. By early April, he had “graduated to the BIG pool” as he continued to build up his swimming muscles, the center said.

Finally, the seal was ready to return to the ocean.

“Now weighing a healthy 220lbs and fully recovered, he made his way back home on a beautiful afternoon,” they said.

In a video posted by the organization, six people can be seen hauling the seal in a massive wooden crate. The swarm of carriers who brought the seal back to the beach April 8 included nonprofit staff and local firefighters.

When they get to the beach, they gently lower the crate to the ground and open the door.

The seal shuffles out of the crate. His happy scooch along the sand is the heartwarming sight of the month. He stops periodically to look around.

He gets closer to the water and the waves start to wash over his black and gray body. He is home.

He disappears into the foam. The organization says their farewell at the end of the video.

“Safe travels, big guy,” they say.

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