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Wave of chubby pups best holiday gift of all for volunteers

After a late summer/fall seal pup season of emaciated pups and higher than usual mortality rate in West Seattle, Seal Sitters is elated to be looking after some winter “weaners” on the chubbier side for a change. There appears to be an abundance of small bait fish in our waters of late.

This past week has seen an increase in pups using Elliott Bay beaches and man-made structures, with volunteers monitoring pups in multiple locations. December storms and unusually high tides have encouraged pups to haul out wherever they can find an accessible resting spot. At Jack Block Park, the public pier has been partially submerged at high tide and pups have been crawling onto the support timbers. As the tide recedes, it is an unnerving sight to see a pup resting 10 feet above the Bay. In order to assure the safety of the pups, we have taped off the entrance to the pier when pups are hauled out, but onlookers have a great view of both the pups and the Seattle skyline from the handicap-friendly walk and tower above.

Holiday pups Dasher and Dancer, shown in the video clip taken today, have been using the structure to rest and warm up for many hours each day. They are shown enjoying a sunbreak this afternoon after a week of heavy rains. Additionally, another new pup, Rudoph, came ashore on the inaccessible beach today. Red-nosed volunteers watched over them in the bitter cold.

The Port Police has temporarily closed the public access beach for protection of the marine mammals from off leash dogs and curious people. We are so grateful for their support!

We have also responded to seals in several other locations this past week, keeping first responders and volunteers very busy in this wet and windy weather.
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