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Pace picking up for seal pup season

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For the second day in a row, the hotline received early morning reports about a seal pup at Lincoln Park, this time near Colman Pool. When our responder arrived on scene in a gray mist, the park walker who called in was vigilantly protecting the pup so that people (and dogs) wouldn’t get too close. She quickly placed cones with “Do Not Enter - protected marine mammal” signs on the beach well away from the snoozing pup and stretched a sizable tape perimeter to cordon off the area.

It was obvious from markings on the pup’s fur that this was not the same one that had rested near the north end of the park the evening before. Volunteers were soon lined up in shifts to ensure the pup’s safety and educate the public on seal behavior throughout this gorgeous fall day. In the photo above, volunteer Eric (on the right) points out the pup to some of the many curious onlookers. Later in the day, young Vincent, his 9-year-old sister V and their mom, who recently moved to West Seattle from Hungary, were fascinated and excited to learn about seal pups in their new neighborhood.

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By the end of the day, the pup, nicknamed Patches, had moved away from the logs toward the water. It became evident that he was much skinnier than originally thought. Patches finally swam off into the deep blue water as darkness approached and the water began swirling around him. We’re hoping he managed to find a feast of some small fish, squid or shrimp so he can put on some pounds. Thin pups are much more susceptible to parasites and viruses.

Thanks to all the fishermen near Colman Pool for respecting Patches’ need to rest on the beach. Maybe he should take some fishing lessons and fatten up.
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