Oct/06/11 08:17 PM
This year, from August - October 5th (yesterday), we have already surpassed last year’s five-month total: 35 different pups have now been observed and protected by our West Seattle volunteers! And October is typically one of our busiest months, so we can only guess how many pups we’ll have by the end of the year.
Our 35th pup is shown in the photo here. Nicknamed Spanky, this very robust and alert pup found a nice rock to rest upon before the incoming tide’s waves sent him swimming off into the Sound. This is just the kind of round pup with a thick blubber layer that we want to see this time of year, when too many are becoming thinner and trying to survive. Blacky, who has been using Lincoln Park for several weeks now, has become noticeably thinner the past two sightings. Seal pup Aquarius, who hauled out at Constellation Park for two days in a row, was rescued from that beach Friday, but died at PAWS. We cannot stress enough that seal pups need to rest and warm up undisturbed in order to maintain their strength and keep their immune system resilient.
Sep/30/11 08:51 PM
Yesterday, volunteers were stretched to the max as we had four pups on shore at the same time in different West Seattle locations. We had pups at two different Beach Drive parks, a pup hauled out a city-side beach and seal pup Bianca, who returned for the fifth day in a row, resing a full ten hours before she returned to Elliott Bay at high tide. Needless to say, our volunteers were exhausted and we cannot thank them enough. The hotline handled 22 phone calls yesterday. The hotline operators and volunteer schedulers deserve many kudos for all their hard work, day after day.
The Sno-King wing of Seal Sitters (responding to calls in Seattle and beaches to the north) has been looking after a pup who has been returning to the same beach for several days running.
Sep/29/11 05:20 AM
Monday, a day of heavy rain and winds, found a new pup lounging in the middle of Don Armeni boat launch. Since there was one lone boat that launched and no trailers in the lots, the pup rested for the day on the cement “beach” (photo above). Pups are attracted to boat ramps because the docks over the water are habitat for the tiny fish that seal pups favor and the ramps are just like one endless beach to them. Food and a nice resting place is attractive to a pup. However, a boat ramp is an extremely dangerous place for a pup to call home - a seal pup was run over this season at the Steilacoom boat ramp. Our new big and healthy weaned pup, dubbed Bianca for her white coat, returned to the water late in the afternoon after being protected by hardy and dedicated volunteers standing in a cold rain. In the meantime, our investigator responded to reports of two dead seal pups at Lincoln Park. Those pups were taken for necropsy and we will post the results when we receive them. The two pups are not ones our volunteers have looked after.
Sep/24/11 09:16 PM
Late afternoon, the hotline received a call about a pup on a beach near the Fauntleroy ferry (photo at right). A ferry worker told our responder that a man was “petting” the pup before we arrived. It is against federal law to touch or harass a seal, punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. An off-leash dog also reportedly had caused the pup to leave the beach, but after the dog left he returned. Our responder taped off the area (except for the end on private land) and volunteers stayed on the beach, intercepting a man jogging along the shore’s edge and another walking with an off-leash dog. Both men were extremely cooperative and considerate when informed of the pup’s presence. This very small pup has been identified as Gypsy, who spent an evening on the beach at Lincoln Park on the 21st. Gypsy swam off into the Sound as evening fell - hopefully to fatten up a bit.
Thanks so much to all of you who are calling in reports to our hotline. You are truly our eyes on the beach and make a tremendous difference in our ability to protect these terribly vulnerable pups. And, as always, thanks to our volunteers who are putting in mega-hours!
Sep/23/11 10:04 PM
Yesterday in West Seattle, we had four pups on shore - three on public beaches and one on private property. The two at Lincoln Park could not have differed more in appearance. Paloma is a white pup with subtle spots and Blacky is very dark with light spots. The two pups, one at the park’s southend and the other mid-park, spent many hours on the beach. Both were tucked among the logs for much of the day. The third pup at Constellation Park was nicknamed Orion. There was some confusion as to the initial reported location of this pup. Please remember if you call the hotline give as precise a location as possible - if a pup is within park boundaries, please note a landmark for our responders. If there is a visible street address, please let our dispatcher know.
Early this morning, the hotline received a report that a pup was on Alki beach. Our responder arrived minutes after the call came in, but no pup was found. Shortly afterwards, we received a call about another pup on the beach at Lincoln Park. When our responders arrived, there was no pup at that reported location. However, we soon spotted a pup hauling out just to the south. The skittish pup, who was identified as Blacky (shown here), was alert to people’s presence, but finally settled in, stretched and yawned in the sun and stayed til sunset.
Heads up as you walk the beach - pups are everywhere!