27 Jan '15, 11pm

Seal pup learns to live without eyesight

Seal pup learns to live without eyesight

A blind harbor seal pup that was rescued off the coast of Homer, Alaska , is now learning basic behaviors at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. Bryce was found stranded on the beach in August 2014, and veterinary staff think he suffered a head trauma that caused his blindness. Because of his blindness , the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-National Marine Fisheries Service has deemed the pup non-releasable. Although SeaLife Center officials say Bryce’s eyesight might be improving in one eye, he’s still unable to fend for himself. However, Bryce’s heightened reliance on sound enables staff to teach him husbandry skills like hand-feeding and targeting. Because he can’t see, they use audio cues instead of the usual visual cues. In place of a target buoy, they shake a rattle so the seal pup can follow the sound. "His progress under human care is very encouragi...

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/seal-pup...

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