Northern Fur Seal on road to recovery after ‘groundbreaking’ surgery

MYSTIC -- Ziggy Star, the beloved Northern Fur Seal who has been in the care of the team at Mystic Aquarium for five years, is on the mend.

The teenage seal underwent a special brain surgery at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University on November 20th to relieve hydrocephalus, or water on the brain.

Dr. Barbara Mangold, an associate veterinarian at Mystic Aquarium, noted that Ziggy's operation was groundbreaking.

"We realized surgery was her only option," Mangold said, "it's not an uncommon procedure for a dog but it's another ballgame for a seal."

Ziggy is now gaining her appetite and strength back according to Erin Gibbons, one of her caregivers at Mystic Aquarium.

"She is doing amazing," Gibbons said. "she's moving around so much better. You know she's become sort of an ambassador for her whole species."

The team at Mystic Aquarium is hopeful that Ziggy will return to the pools on the premises and soon swim with the other seals where visitors can watch her back in action.

Mystic Aquarium is now working on a Facebook Show called "Aquarium Rehab", where you can see more of Ziggy's triumphs.