Abandoned seal pup, now healthy, released back to wild

(AP Photo)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A seal pup found abandoned and sickly on a Juneau-area beach this summer has been released back to the wild after undergoing rehabilitative care.

Heli was released off Douglas Island Monday. A small crowd that included children watched as she poked her head from an animal carrier and undulated down the beach to the waiting, cool water.

When the pup was found in July, she had puncture wounds and was dehydrated. She was taken to the nonprofit Alaska SeaLife Center, where she was treated for conditions that included lungworms and pneumonia and learned to catch live fish.

Halley Werner, with the Alaska SeaLife Center, says Heli is healthy and weighs about 45 pounds. Heli has a tracking device glued to her fur that will allow her movements to be tracked.

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