A message from the Seal Sitters

We just received this notice of a seal pup along with a reminder of what to do when you spot a seal pup.

Hi, Rhonda.

I was hoping you might be able to get the word out that Seal Sitters is on the lookout for a very thin harbor seal pup who is using private shoreline along Beach Drive to rest. Yesterday, the pup was in the 5900 block. With such a high tide last evening the pup likely was forced back into the Sound, however, may have sought shelter on a cement ramp or stairs along there.

If you see a pup, please stay well back and contact our hotline immediately at 206-905-SEAL (7325). It may be this pup, Tigger, who was first sighted and protected at Lincoln Park on Sunday morning (you can read our blubberblog post here: http://blubberblog.org/files/c9829896053c3c3c0807550ce5eb1f43-606.html).

Yesterday evening, we rescued a different terribly thin pup along Beach Drive who had numerous bite wounds to the head, neck and body. This is the SECOND bite wound pup we have had in the past few weeks along the stretch of beach from Lincoln Park to Emma Schmitz, all notorious for off-leash dogs. While we do not know for sure yet what animal inflicted the wounds, it is a fact that dogs maul seal pups – sometimes resulting in death – every year in Puget Sound. We are pleading with dog owners to please refrain from letting their dog onto the beach – especially unleashed and unaccompanied by owner.

This is the height of  harbor seal pupping season in our area and newly-weaned (along with a few still nursing-age) pups will be trying to rest on West Seattle beaches for the upcoming months. These weaners are most always quite thin and vulnerable. Each day is truly a life and death struggle for them. Please report any harbor seal you see resting on the beach, private or public – dead or alive.

And please remember it is against Federal law (Marine Mammal Protection Act) to touch, move or feed a seal pup. Yesterday evening, a well-intentioned soul wrapped the second Beach Drive pup in a towel, which can cause brain damage and death to a pup as he tries to regulate his body temperature and overheats. The pup was taken to rehab last night and we will keep you posted on the pup’s condition.

If you see a pup on your beach, always stay back, keep dogs away and call our hotline and a trained – and NOAA-authorized – first responder will be there shortly.

Thanks so much to all of you for your help!

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