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Pupping season officially underway in South Puget Sound

     
Seal Sitters responded to multiple reports of a “tiny” seal pup in Everett the past few days. The pup was reported as “injured”, however, based on the description, our guess was that the pup still had an umbilicus attached. Our responder searched for the pup (shown here) who was found on a very busy public boat launch, indeed with a long umbilicus cord. Special thanks to Wildlife Officer Kraig Hansen for his assistance with this pup. Additionally, our hotline has received several calls regarding small pups on the beaches of Whidbey Island. We referred those callers to Central Puget Sound Stranding Network which handles all reports of marine mammals on Whidbey.

Pupping season is now in full swing in our area. There have been several fullterm births in the harbor seal rookeries of South Puget Sound, where the pupping season begins a few months after that on the outer coast of Washington. Most females with pups stick close to the rookeries where there is safety in numbers at haulouts, where they nurse their young for 4-6 weeks while teaching them the skills to survive - but periodically we will see very small, often premature, pups alone on the beach. If you come across a pup, keep people and dogs away and call our hotline at 206-905-SEAL (7325). We will respond, do a health assessment and secure the area. Or, if you are not within the response area of Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, we will refer you to the network that serves that region. You can also find the appropriate numbers to call for Washington and Oregon here. We can expect to begin seeing a plethora of pups in our area mid- August as they are weaned and off searching for food on their own.
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