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Earliest pupping season on record for Seal Sitters

Yet another newborn pup rested along West Seattle’s shore today - the third in less than 3 weeks and by far the earliest start to pupping season for Seal Sitters MMSN, now in our 8th year.

The hotline received a call mid-afternoon and first responders were quickly on the scene to discover a small, spotted pup nestled in the barnacle-encrusted rocks below the seawall. Volunteers established an extensive perimeter to reduce disturbance around the pup in hopes that the mom would return. The pup snoozed in the warm sun on a sparkling afternoon. Super-cool Seal Sitters volunteers Stella, age 8, and her sister Ruby, age 6, talked to curious kids and adults and informed them that the pup needed rest and quiet. The girls named the fluffy white pup Junebug. Also lending a hand to make sure Junebug stayed safe were new SS kid volunteers Savannah, age 8, and 3-year-old Juliette from Ballard.

Around 5:30pm, the incoming tide whipped the cold waters of Puget Sound over the pup and he swam along the shoreline looking for another place to come ashore. Volunteers followed his movements through binoculars and moved the perimeter when he finally came to rest. Junebug didn’t stay long, though, on the partially submerged, craggy rocks. Some onlookers thought they spotted another seal not too far offshore in the water, though the sighting was not confirmed by first responders. Volunteers scanned the nearby beaches but could not find the pup on shore. We’re hoping that Junebug was reunited with mom who is able to find a quiet and safe place to nurse him.

First responders will be out looking for Junebug at first light in the morning. If you see a pup on shore, please stay back and call our hotline @ 206-905-7325 (SEAL). If mom is frightened by people and dogs too close to her pup, she will likely abandon him.

Seal Sitters has also been monitoring a yearling (seal born last year) that has picked a precarious place to haul out, a highly trafficked pier. Nicknamed Pierre (at left), he crawls onto the pier structure at high tide, rests for many hours and returns to Puget Sound when the tide returns. Thankfully, the pup has gone largely unnoticed by passersby so he is not unduly stressed.

If you see a pup resting high above the water on a dock or pier, it’s important that you don’t scare him, causing potential injury in a fall. Additionally, It is much safer for him to rest on the timbers than on the beach with off-leash dogs.

PUPDATE (7/1/14 6:30am)
No sign of Junebug at dawn this morning.
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