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No end in sight for West Seattle volunteers

West Seattle’s crazy seal pup season continues full bore. Today we had 4 pups in different locations. This morning at 5:30 our responder found a pup in a perilous location. Thankfully, the pup returned to Elliott Bay about 7:30 am. We were on the alert since he had hauled out in the same location last night. We are pretty certain the pup was Umbreon, looking very chubby and alert. About 10 am we located Spanky at his usual haulout and taped off the area around him. Even before we could get that perimeter established, the hotline received a call about a pup at Lincoln Park. One of our stalwart volunteers headed for the Park, found the thin pup and began stretching yellow tape between pieces of driftwood and stakes. The pup snoozed til the end of the day. Seal Sitters also investigated a report of a pup on the rocks below Salty’s restaurant. We have yet to identify this pup who returned to Elliott Bay about 4:30 this afternoon after resting since early this morning. Finally, Umbreon hauled out again about 6pm, returning to forage about 8 pm.

What does this all mean? People are surprised that we still have pups hauling out, since “pupping season” is officially over in our area. However, weaned pups continue to need shoreline habitat to rest (as they will their entire lifetime) and they will come ashore near where they forage. It seems apparent that West Seattle has a pretty good food source of late to support a number pups. And it certainly helps that they have found refuge in a location where volunteers respond quickly to help them warm up, doze and recharge undisturbed.

Last year, seal pup Queen Latifah was still hauling out with regularity til late December. Seal Sitters is in the throes of a record breaking year for seal pups. So, volunteers, please keep using the calendar to sign up for shifts - we need your help!
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