It's rare for a seal to move any appreciable distance overland, but a seal pup currently in care at the PAWS Wildlife Center had to travel more than 160 miles on dry land to arrive at our door. Not that he did it alone. He was driven to us by a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist who rescued the young seal from a beach in Tokeland, WA. The pup had been on the beach for four days, and there was no indication that his mother was caring for him. By the time he arrived at PAWS on May 25, he was very dehydrated and well on his way to starvation.
In care, the little seal has thrived. After his condition was stabilized and he was rehydrated, we started him on a rich milk replacer formula. He adapted well, both with the diet and the tube-feedings that were required to deliver it. Within just a few days of admission, the seal had gained weight and become feisty and very vocal.
The seal pup now resides in one of our large, filtered outdoor pools. He has graduated from milk replacer to whole fish, and he is getting bigger every day. If all goes well, he should be ready to make the overland trek back to his ocean home by mid-to-late summer.