: Taj Mahal--PV1402 :
Species: Pacific Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)
  Narrative

5/15/14 - A young harbor seal pup was found at Bradley Lake, at the head of Kachemak Bay. The pup was alone on the beach, but there was an adult seal swimming nearby.

5/16/14 - After monitoring the seal for over 24 hours, it was apparent that the pup's mom was not going to return. A direct flight to Seward was donated by Pathfinder Aviation out of Homer. Thank you, Pathfinder Aviation!

5/18/14 - The male pup is being treated for multiple puncture wounds and an eye infection. He is underweight and dehydrated. His bloodwork also showed signs of infection, which is being treated with oral antibiotics.

5/21/14 - Treatment seems to be paying off - the pup is showing signs of improvement. His wounds are beginning to heal nicely, and with regular topical treatments they are kept clean.

5/24/14 - Almost all of his wounds have healed over! The pup is still on antibiotics, but his infection is improving and he no longer needs medicated eye drops.

5/27/14 - The young seal has slowly transitioned to a specialized formula that is made to meet the needs of a growing baby harbor seal. He is tube fed 5 times a day, and has started to put on some weight.

5/29/14 - All of the rehabilitating seals at ASLC will have a vet check-up this weekend to make sure they haven't developed any health concerns.

6/8/14 - A few days ago, the seal had a sonogram to check for abdominal issues, but everything came back clean! The seal is gaining weight well, and has started swimming before feeds. Today, some pieces of herring were added to his swim and he seemed to take interest!

6/10/14 - The little seal had more x-rays today. The Vet staff used barium to help create more contrast on the x-rays and give us a better picture of his GI system. All results were normal.

6/21/14 - After another examination by vet staff, the seal has been taken off all medications, and his wounds are healing up so nicely that they no longer need to be flushed at every feed! He is showing some interest in fish, but hasn't eaten any yet, so rehab staff continues to offer them a few times a day.

7/9/14 - It's official, our little seal has a name, Taj Mahal! Our top donors are frequently invited to have a seal and pick a name in our theme. Thanks so much to Shell for picking out such an adorable name for our first pup of the year, the rehab staff love it and sometimes call him Taj for short. Taj is still trying to learn to eat fish, we'll update you when he finally masters this skill!

7/20/14 - Taj is eating fish! While he still has some trouble eating the whole ones, and eating on a regular basis, he is eating chunks of herring during his swims very well. Go Taj!

7/22/14 - Today Taj was moved to an ODL, where he will have more deck space and a deeper pool. he has been eating well in his deep pool all day, and staff are closing his water access at night for the first few nights while he adjusts.

7/24/14 - Taj received a flipper tag today, that will help staff identify him when he is moved into a pool with another seal. The tag also allows people to contact the ASLC if they should see him in the wild once he is released. His tag number is ASLC 136!

7/27/14 - Taj has been swimming so enthusiastically that his flipper tag has fallen out! Staff will retag him in a few days.

7/29/14 - Staff gave Taj a new flipper tag today, his new number is ASLC 137.

8/2/14 - Happy Rehab Race Day!! Today runners in Seward and around the country helped raise money to help the ASLC care for and release animals just like Taj Mahal, so thank you!

8/6/14 - A few days ago Taj was moved into and ODL with Liberty! As they have been getting along so well, staff have decided to open the gates between their pool, and the pool Stonehenge and Gobi are sharing. So far all the introductions have been going great and everyone is competing well!

8/18/14 - Taj had some salmon as part of his feed today. Chasing live fish is an important skill to get theses seals ready for release, and he did great!

8/22/14 - At his last weigh in, Taj went up to 20.7 kg! He is getting very close to his release weight goal of 25 kg, go Taj!

8/31/14 - Taj Mahal had a blood draw today in preparation for his release. After the bloodwork comes back clean, and he receives a final health exam from the vet staff he will be all clear to return to the wild! His release is planned for the 2nd of September in Homer with Liberty.

9/2/14 - There was a great turnout at the Homer release today. Taj Mahal entered the water first, but waited for Liberty to join him and they both swam off together. Good luck in the wild Taj Mahal!