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Seal pup Skittles resting, Seal Sitters jumping

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For the third day in a row, skinny little seal pup Skittles has been using the shoreline along the Alki Beach side of West Seattle to soak up some sun. Yesterday, we received a call about 1pm and found him (or her) zonked on the sand at Alki Beach next to a log. Responders established a substantial perimeter around the pup, anticipating that he would come closer up on the beach as the tide came in. Indeed, he did and offered a great view for all the passersby who peered through the “scope” for a closeup look and had their many questions answered by volunteers. As the afternoon wore on into evening, hungry volunteers who had spent many hours protecting Skittles, munched on pizza picked up from a nearby restaurant. The pup was still on the beach late into the night, but went into the Sound before sunrise.

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.

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We lost sight of his little silver head in the blue waters, but noticed that a pup that had just hopped up on one of the platforms at the south end of Alki. We compared photographs of the pup on the raft with photos taken today on the beach and it was Skittles. As darkness fell, he was still safely on the raft.

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.

No sittin' for Seal Sitters as pups keep us on the run

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Yesterday was a busy one for Seal Sitters’ volunteers as we responded to numerous reports of seal pups on the beaches of West Seattle.

First up, a snoozing pup on the sand beneath the sea wall along Alki Avenue. The savvy woman who spotted the pup not only immediately called our hotline, but thwarted a woman and her off leash dog from scaring the pup back into the water or, worse, possibly injuring him/her. Our responder arrived within minutes of the call and quickly established a large perimeter to ensure the pup could rest undisturbed. Volunteers watched over the pup, nicknamed Skittles, until the tide forced him to return to the Sound around noon. In the photo, Skittles stretches and thermoregulates, circulating warmth through his body and regulating his temperature.

Volunteers searched the shoreline along Alki and all the way around Duwamish Head, anticipating the thin pup would seek another haulout. Eagle-eyed volunteer Eilene spotted Skittles nestled next to a large log at the north end of Alki Beach. Cones with stakes and sandwich boards were placed in strategic spots and taped stretched between them to create another crib of sorts for young Skittles to nap in peace. Around 7pm, Skittles swam far out into the Sound as the sun set and our volunteers went home happy. We’re hoping Skittles got lots of vittles to pack on some blubber.

The other two reports were of pups at Lincoln Park north of Colman Pool and a small beach just south of the ferry dock. Both pups went in the water before our responders arrived.

So, lots of pups are popping up. Keep alert and call the hotline at 206-905-7325 (SEAL). Thanks to all our dedicated volunteers who put in a very long day yesterday!

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