Letters to the Editor

Seal pup is being cared for on San Juan Island

This seal was picked up in Lofall by West Sound Wildlife Shelter on Sunday and turned over to the state Fish and Wildlife Department.                       - Scott Clark / Contributed
This seal was picked up in Lofall by West Sound Wildlife Shelter on Sunday and turned over to the state Fish and Wildlife Department.
— image credit: Scott Clark / Contributed

I read your story on the seal that was rescued (“Students do the right thing when harbor seal pup joins them on paddleboard adventure,” July 19, page A1, North Kitsap Herald). I am very glad the pup found help.

There has been a seal pup in the water circling around the dock at Lofall for days now. It’s been about 72 hours. After 48 hours, wildlife responders are supposed to help.

The pup is looking frail and worse everyday. It needs milk and a warm place to haul, which I think it doesn’t know how to do because it hasn’t left the water.

After bothering state Fish and Wildlife seal expert Dyanna Lambourn, I can’t get the seal any help or refuge. Fish and Wildlife basically said to wait and leave it out there for the chance the mom comes, which I know now it will not. Sad part is, I was told by her and a person from Seal Sitters that they have no room, so if they did come out the seal would be euthanized. Why? Because there is no cute story? Because it wasn’t surfing with a little girl?

I’m very sad and angry that no one can help. I have tried everywhere and I keep getting referred back to Fish and Wildlife. Like I said, if they did come, they would euthanize the pup.

Please help this seal pup.

Scott Clark

— Update: The seal was picked up Sunday by West Sound Wildlife Shelter on Bainbridge Island and transferred to Dyanna Lambourn of the state Fish and Wildlife Department. After evaluation, Lambourn transferred the seal pup to Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on San Juan Island, where it is being cared for. Wolf Hollow is one of two wildlife rehabilitation centers in the state that can care for seals.

Lambourn said the seal pup was “responsive” but was not being attended to by its mother. She said the pup is one to two weeks old; pups nurse until they are four to six weeks old.

Lambourn said 50 percent of seal pups don’t survive past their first year. Causes: Coyotes, orcas, disease, parasites, and human intervention.

She advises that if you see a seal pup on the beach, stay away; its mother is likely feeding and will return. If you see a seal that may be in distress, call the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, (253) 208-2427.



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