Sep/29/11 05:20 AM
West Seattle continues to be a hotspot for seal pups to haul out
and try to catch some z’s. Responders have had their hands full trying to stay on top of reports of pups from one end of WS to the next - not to mention trying to keep up with the blog. Sunday, the 25th, was our quietest day after a number of days in a row with multiple pups. Sunday we had one pup at Lincoln Park who popped on and off shore throughout the day as volunteers monitored the pup’s movement.
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.
Tuesday brought sunshine and three visitors. The hotline received a call that a pup was on a Duwamish Head beach. Sure enough, our responder found Bianca onshore, stretching in the warm morning sun. Our volunteers and the few walkers along the sea wall enjoyed her antics. About two hours later, a very small pup came ashore just around the bend from her. This pup was quite chubby and alert, but quickly zonked out and took a long snooze as onlookers oohed and ahhed from the sidewalk above. The pup, named appropriately enough, Chunky, and Bianca both returned to Elliott Bay when the tide rose and the beach vanished. As Bianca and Chunky were still lounging on the sand, we responded to a report of a pup at Lincoln Park, Blacky, whom volunteers looked over til very late afternoon. Unfortunately, Bianca reappeared early evening at the very unsafe boat launch - where off leash dogs, many people and trucks, trailers, boats and cars are too close. If you see a pup on the boat ramp, please call our hotline immediately @ 206-905-SEAL (7325).