‘Phil’ the seal continues his recovery after months-long Kent County adventure

BALTIMORE — Phil, a harbor seal whose inland journey in Kent County ended in a rescue last week, is reportedly doing well at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

The seal was pulled from thick mud at Killens Pond, near Felton, on April 11.

Its first inland appearance was late last year when passers-by noticed the harbor seal feeding near a spillway at Courseys Pond,

“Phil was being monitored as an out-of-habitat animal beginning in late November, when he began traveling up a river in central Delaware,” the National Aquarium said in a blog post. “After recently moving into a muddy area with little water, he began showing signs of declining health and appeared to have difficulty maneuvering and finding food.”

The aquarium post said Jennifer Dittmar and Kate Shaffer from National Aquarium Animal Rescue assisted the Delaware-based Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute to get the seal out onto land along Killens Pond Road.

A harbor seal rescued at Killens Pond last week is recovering at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. “We’re happy to report that Phil is showing signs of improvement,” the aquarium reported in a blog post. (National Aquarium photo)

From there, the seal was taken to the National Aquarium’s Animal Care Center for rehabilitation.

In an interview with the Delaware State News last week, MERR executive director Suzanne Thurman said the seal likely found his way into the spillway at Killens Pond after water levels rose from rain storms in early April. She said the seal may have been stranded in the mud for several days.

“We’re happy to report that Phil is showing signs of improvement,” the blog post said. “He has started eating on his own, and is active and alert. Phil is currently being treated for dehydration and an eye infection, which appears to be improving with medication and access to clean water.

“Our team is hopeful that he will make a full recovery and soon be ready to be released back into the ocean.”

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