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Rescue & Rehab Journal
PH1502 - Pimniq
July 16, 2015
September, 16th 2016
Ringed seal PH1502 was found by a hunter in Stebbins, Alaska who was concerned about his condition and abnormal behavior. The concerned hunter contacted the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Stranding Hotline after he was unable to reach his local stranding network representative. The seal was transferred into the care of ASLC staff on July 16, 2015. Upon examination he was estimated to be about one year old and suffering from an abnormal molt with multiple skin wounds and a healing bite wound in his “armpit” by a predator. He was diagnosed as suffering from dehydration and starvation, parasitic pneumonia, multiple skin wounds, and a liver infection. It took a full year for PH1502—named Pimniq ("one-year-old seal") —to fully recover from his health challenges under regular care and close monitoring by Wildlife Response staff. Pimniq remains at the ASLC as a healthy and robust ice seal. He is currently participating in an ice seal research program which allows scientists to understand more about the unique physiology of animals living under such extreme conditions. All research for the ice seal program is conducted under a research permit from NOAA. Under federal law, ice seals that are removed from their natural habitat are not eligible for release back into their natural environment, and the Alaska SeaLife Center works with the federal government to identify and place ice seals that enter the Wildlife Response program.