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Seal Sitters named to Sunset Magazine's "Best of the West"

Seal Sitters is proud to report that we have been included on Sunset Magazine’s “Best of the West (things we love)” list for the May issue.

The timing of this recognition could not be better. Spring is the season for harbor seal pups to be born all along the West Coast, stretching from California to the Pacific Northwest. If you visit the outer coast, make sure to keep a heads-up for vulnerable newborn pups. Stay back and observe quietly from a distance. Otherwise, a mom may abandon her pup who cannot survive without her. In South Puget Sound, pupping season begins in mid-June, with pups being born as late as October (Hood Canal). September and October are the busiest months for Seal Sitters in West Seattle.

This mention in such a high visibility and widely distributed publication should help save some pups this season. We are so grateful to Sunset Magazine for this important coverage! The magazine is on the newsstands now.

Seal pups finding safety off shore

Seal Sitters’ first responders are still a bit baffled as to the lull in marine mammal activity in our area as compared to prior years. Other networks appear to be having a quieter off-season as well, at least in regard to weaned seal pups using the shoreline. That said, there are several pups that have been resting on wooden rafts secured just off shore, stretching from Brace Point to Alki.

Shown here is La-Z-Boy, who has been reclining on the Alki platform off and on for a week or so. La-Z-Boy is very alert and relatively robust for a weaned pup. He (or she) usually spends long days lounging there, out of the cold Puget Sound waters before returning to forage by the evening.

These “life rafts” provide a safe haven for pups and adults (and herons, cormorants and other shorebirds) to rest without disturbance from people and dogs. Occasionally a sea lion will opt to hop aboard to take a snooze. If you are a waterfront homeowner and would like to build a raft to help wildlife, please contact us and we can provide plans for construction and even advice securing the raft in place. Not only will you be doing wildlife a huge favor, you will enjoy watching them in your own watery backyard.

Kayakers and boaters, please remember to STAY BACK from these off shore platforms so that the animals can rest undisturbed. Last year, boater harassment of the Alki platform caused newborn seal pup Sparkle, only a few days old, to be abandoned by her mom. She later died at PAWS. As harbor seal pupping season approaches, remember that sometimes these platforms are used by harbor seal moms and their vulnerable pups, who cannot survive on their own - boater disturbance is truly a matter of life and death.

Seal Sitters has a new volunteer training scheduled on Saturday, April 26th. Visit our website if you would like to help protect marine mammals. Space is filling up fast, so make sure you RSVP soon.
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