By Jen Mannas, PAWS Naturalist
As fall is in full swing our summer residents are being released back to the wild. All 44 of our Raccoons have been released and the deer are awaiting their release scheduled for next week. During early October our four Harbor Seal pup patients were returned to the wild after growing up at the PAWS Wildlife Center. Here are their stories.
Harbor Seal 15-2200 was the first to arrive at PAWS this year. He was a very small seal estimated to only be a few days old when found on a busy part of the beach in Lincoln Park. After being observed for several days by the Seal Sitters, NOAA Fisheries granted them permission to bring him into PAWS for rehabilitation. Upon arrival he weighed 18.5 pounds and had multiple puncture wounds on his flippers and head.
Harbor Seal 15-2800 was our last seal patient of the season and arrived on July 25th. She was found on a beach near a boat launch in Poulsbo. It was reported to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife that someone dumped the pup off at a boat launch and others were moving her around on the beach. When 2800 arrived she was only 16 pounds and was thin and dehydrated.
Once they had been quarantined and were eating fish on their own 2200 and 2800 were combined into one pool which they shared for the remainder of their care. On Oct 9th both seals were released together near a known Harbor Seal haul out with some help from the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Harbor Seal 15-2427 was a young female pup found abandoned near Allyn and brought to us by NOAA Fisheries on July 6th. She was seen on the beach alone for 3 days not going in the water and was reported to NOAA Fisheries. Upon arrival at PAWS she was just over 16lbs, was thin and had several soft tissue wounds on her head, flipper and in her mouth.
Harbor Seal 15-2655 was also brought to PAWS Wildlife Center by NOAA Fisheries and arrived on July 17th. He was found on a busy beach near Olympia. No attending adult was seen with the pup for a 24 hour period of time and people started to approach and touch him.
He was estimated to just be 2 or 3 days old and weighed almost 24 lbs upon his arrival at PAWS. Other than being dehydrated and thin he had no wounds or injuries.
Harbor seals 2427 and 2655 also shared a pool for the majority of their stay with us and on October 12th both seals were released together with the help of NOAA Fisheries.
Fun facts about our summer seal patients:
15-2200 was the biggest seal this season weighing in at over 68 lbs upon his release.
15-2427 quickly established herself as the feistiest of all of our seal patients this season and would not hesitate to snap her jaws when approached for exams.
15-2427 and 15-2655 became inseparable and were spotted swimming together shortly after their release.
15-2800 was our smallest seal this season weighing just over 55 lbs upon her release.
If you happen to see an injured seal on the beach or a seal being harassed by people or dogs please contact Sno-King Marine Mammal Response at 206.695.2277 or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Seal Hotline at 1.866.767.6114.
Remember it is illegal to approach and touch seals and all other marine mammals.
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