Sep/27/12 09:20 PM
Early this morning, our responder scoured the beaches at first light and found the sleeping pup on another beach. Skittles snoozed peacefully throughout the morning under the watchful eye of volunteers - unaware that a woman running with her off leash dog was headed straight for him. Our volunteer alertly intercepted her and she left the beach. We believe this is the same woman and dog that scared seal pup Henry last year on this same beach, causing him to fall deep into a hole in the rocks. Around noon, Skittles woke up and swam off into the waves.
We had a feeling he would reappear back on Alki Beach because he is just too thin to swim for great lengths of time - and so he did. Volunteer Betsy spotted him at the very north end of the beach. We schlepped cones, stakes and sandwich boards and established yet another perimeter around the pup who was resting at the tideline. In the photo above, he does the banana pose, regulating his body temperature. Skittles didn’t stay long, though, and as some waves lapped at him, he turned and swam south.
Skittles is terribly, terribly thin and has some minor flipper wounds. If you see a pup on shore, please call our hotline immediately @ 206-905-7325 (SEAL). We are keeping a close eye on his health.
Nov/04/11 06:22 PM
We turned to WDFW Marine Mammal Investigations’ biologist Dyanna Lambourn for her usual sage advice. She thought perhaps with a snare we could loop his back flippers and pull him up. So, that was the game plan put into action for this morning. Having spent a long and stressful night, Spanky was still trapped inside the hole at 6am, but was alert - a good sign. Read More...
Oct/07/11 07:59 PM
“Seal Sitters MMSN, part of NOAA's Northwest Marine Mammal Stranding Network, responds to reports of live and dead marine mammals from West Seattle to Marysville. The NWMMSN consists of a number of organizations, including WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife and Cascadia Research, and many volunteers who cover the entire inner and outer coast of Washington and Oregon. Seal Sitters has a signed agreement with NOAA and therefore has the authority to establish any necessary perimeter around a marine mammal to prevent disturbance or harassment, as per federal law passed in 1972 - the Marine Mammal Protection Act. While NOAA recommends that people stay a minimum of 100 yards away, we realize that is not always possible in an urban environment. We make every attempt to enable a marine mammal to rest onshore without greatly inconveniencing the public. That said, our primary goal is protection and safety for both the animal and the public. Sometimes, there may be a slight inconvenience in order to do so.
Seal Sitters is an all-volunteer organization and does this service and educational outreach with no monetary compensation from the City, State or NOAA.”
Please, respect both the barriers and the volunteers who donate many selfless hours, sometimes under trying circumstances. Already this season, we have had many days with pups in multiple locations. Volunteers Eilene and David (photo above) are among those who tirelessly educate the public about lovable seal pups, such as Henry along Alki Avenue. Seal Sitters greatly appreciates the support and cooperation of our community! We do have many operational expenses throughout the year, including maintaining our dedicated phone hotline and websites, as well as printed outreach and training materials. If you’d like to make a tax deductible donation to help us continue this valuable work, please click here.
Sep/13/11 10:22 PM
Sep/13/11 08:40 AM
Seal Sitters has responded to two incidents the past few days involving human interference in the Everett area, both by well-meaning but misguided folks. Never pour water or place clothing or towels over seal pups. Material placed over a struggling pup can cause severe health consequences from over-heating. It is a federal offense to touch, move or feed a marine mammal as written into the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Keep your distance from a seal pup or seal on the beach and call the stranding network or NOAA Hotline. Violators will be prosecuted or heavily fined by NOAA’s Office for Law Enforcement.
In West Seattle over the past few days, we had two incidents of off leash dogs with owners who flagrantly violated the “no dogs on beach” ordinance - with the knowledge that there was a seal pup on the beach. In the case yesterday, a woman running on the beach refused to control and leash her dog, even after being informed that we had a very small pup on the rocks. As they ran by, seal pup Henry was scared and fell deep into a hole in the rocks, distressed and apparently stuck. As our volunteers scrambled to assess how to intervene for a rescue if necessary, Henry managed to free himself and crawl out onto the beach. Our volunteers remained on the beach to prevent any further incidents. Every year dogs maul or kill seal pups in the Northwest. All persons willfully violating the MMPA will be reported to NOAA Office for Law Enforcement. A violation includes an act by a human that in any way alters the behavior of a marine mammal - including causing them to relocate. Seal Sitters tries our best to maintain a reasonable perimeter so that a pup may rest undisturbed in a very urban environment. Please be respectful of seals’ need to rest onshore!
Sep/13/11 06:29 AM
Yesterday morning a very tiny and alert pup (shown above) was resting high on the lichen-covered rocks just below the sea wall. The pup had come in at high tide during the night. Since people were running and walking along the wall just feet above the pup (and sometimes stopping to talk excitedly about him), we established a tape perimeter to keep people and dogs back. This pup was named Henry by an enthusiastic onlooker. An incident with a woman on the beach who refused to leash and control her dog caused the pup to be scared off the rocks. Her careless act may have caused injury to Henry (see related story). We repeatedly try to stress to dog owners that dogs truly are a threat to these vulnerable seal pups!
This weekend was busy for our Sno-King investigator as well with multiple pups in the Everett area, some involving human interference as well - this time, however, by well-meaning individuals.
Thanks to all our volunteers who have put in such long hours the past week!