Mar/04/13 06:32 PM
The thin pup with a cream colored coat was nicknamed Latte. Volunteers watched over the 6 - 8 month old seal, who snoozed contentedly in the warm sun on this gorgeous day. Latte zonked out for several hours, but began to stir late in the afternoon as passersby lingered and chatted a bit too loud above him. Volunteers try to gently urge folks to move along and observe further away from pups, but people get excited and want to get as close as possible. Seawalls and sidewalks pose difficult challenges for maintaining a safe and quiet buffer zone for a resting pup.
Latte was definitely too thin (like many weaned pups) and has some respiratory issues. As he awoke, he turned to face a terribly wide stretch of rocky beach at low tide which separated him from the water. We assumed he would wait for the high tide late tonight rather than make the long, difficult crawl - approximately 100 yards. However, Latte surprised and delighted us all by making the journey (and at a rather impressive pace) back to the cobalt blue waters of Puget Sound shortly before 4pm.
As seems to be the norm, there were way too many dogs illegally on the beach today. While most were leashed, a number were not - putting Latte at risk for injury. We are thankful, however, that all dog owners were cooperative and quickly left the beach when informed there was a seal pup.
Thanks to all our volunteers for looking after skinny Latte today and giving him (or her) the rest critical for survival.