Sep/26/16 07:17 AM
Upon her arrival, she saw a thin pup at the base of the ferry dock pilings and three off-leash dogs a couple hundred yards away, playing in the surf. Briskly, she began stretching yellow tape between driftwood and stakes, with signs warning that harbor seals need rest to survive and “Do Not Enter”. Thankfully, the dogs’ owners did not approach.
Over the course of the next hour and a half, occasional passersby and neighbors were excited to be able to see the fuzzy gray pup who snoozed in the shadows. This included two great young girls who watched through binoculars with their mom. They christened the pup “Cooper”.
As the tide crept in and reached the sleeping pup, Cooper reluctantly swam off in the cold waters of the cove, where another pup had been seen off and on lingering offshore. We hope they went off in search of a nutritious Sunday brunch of squid, Threespine stickleback and gunnel.
Again, signboards and cones with stakes were placed strategically around the area and yellow tape was strung to establish a safety zone. Other volunteers arrived shortly and began talking to curious and excited observers. A spotting scope was set up so folks could get a closer look at the pup, who dozed comfortably. Thru the scope, it was noticed that the pup had a wound on his/her rear flipper.
The onlookers were quite respectful and quiet - a good thing since harbor seals have excellent hearing. The sudden noise of the hand dryer in the nearby public bathroom disrupted the slumber. Roaring motorcycles and increasing traffic on Harbor Avenue startled the pup, who began stretching and yawning - usually an indication that a pup will start a return to the water.
Sure enough, Skipper (nicknamed by new volunteer Heather) began the trek to the incoming tideline. Because of the open wound on his/her flipper, the rear end was high in the air the length of the journey (photo above). Salt water has great healing properties and it is our fervent wish that the wound heal on its own. Be assured, that we will be keeping a close eye on Skipper if the pup returns to our shores to rest. Skipper swam off in search of dinner.
Volunteers waited to make sure Skipper didn’t return before removing materials and heading home for our own dinners.