SANDWICH (CBS) — After months of rehab, a harbor seal with a celebrity name is heading home Tuesday afternoon.

Giseal Bundchen was rescued by Marine Mammals of Maine after she became stranded last June on Maine’s Chebeague Island, and was taken in by the National Marine Life Center.

She was separated from her mother, and the center determined that she wouldn’t be able to survive on her own without the life lessons a seal mom would teach.

“Harbor seal moms leave their pups on the beach to rest while the moms go offshore to feed,” The NMLC said in a release. “Sometimes well-meaning interference by humans who think the pup has been abandoned can scare the seal mom away permanently, and thus cause separation to occur.”

giseal bundchen Seal Pup Named Giseal Bundchen Being Released Back Into Wild

Giseal Bundchen. (National Marine Life Center)

That’s why the center, which has cared for 117 seals since it opened five years ago, is reminding beachgoers to stay at least 150 feet away from beached seals.

The NMLC staff had to teach Giseal to swim and eat fish, and also treated her for an ear infection.

Now, she’s fully healed–and the center says she’s nearly doubled her weight from when they took her in.

They will release Giseal around 4:30 p.m. at Scusset Beach State Reservation in Sandwich, and the public is invited to attend.

She’ll be satellite-tagged so scientists can observe how deep she dives in the wild.


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