Lynda Doughty, Maine's seal rescuer, was recently in the news for being a 2021 CNN hero. She is a marine biologist who started off working for organizations that treated injured marine mammals. She later started her own non-profit, Marine Mammals of Maine, in order to fill the gap created by other non-profits and state agencies losing their funding or permanently closing their doors.
Since 2011, Marine Mammals of Maine have provided a variety of services for more than 3000 marine animals.
In addition to handling calls about deceased seals, whales, and sea turtles, Marine Mammals of Maine is the only organization that is permitted to respond to marine strandings, mostly consisting of seals, within 25,000 miles of coastline.
Lynda's organization has a federal organization to rescue injured seals and treat them at their facility. Sometimes the seals require up to 3 months of intensive treatment before they can be released back into the ocean.
In an interview for CNN, this is what Lynda had to say about her marine friend, the seal -" What I love about seals is they really look similar to dogs. They are also really charismatic. They're funny with their behaviors. They're really curious, and there's so much diversity to their populations. They can have all different personalities."
As part of educational outreach, Lynda is trying to educate both locals and tourists on what to do when they encounter marine animals. This is what Lynda had to say about her life's mission - "I feel this intense responsibility to help these animals. And really, this is what I was put on this Earth to do."