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Resilient volunteers protect seal pups in the cold and damp

Cold, wet weather can’t discourage Seal Sitters on a mission. On Saturday morning, die-hard volunteer Lynn was doing rounds, checking the beaches and docks at Jack Block Park to make sure that rehab pup Ruby and her new-found pinniped friends were safe and sound. She discovered a skitterish pup hauled out on the beach just below the entrance to the public pier. In blustery conditions, with help from fellow volunteer Theresa, a perimeter was established to provide enough space for the pup, nicknamed Scooter, to try to rest undisturbed.

Scooter snoozed throughout the cold, damp day. Shivering volunteers watched over him in shifts and Starbucks generously donated two carafes of coffee to help them thaw out. Thank you, Starbucks on Alki and to our volunteers for braving the elements! Scooter returned to Elliott Bay around 3 pm.

A short time later, Ruby with her red flipper tag was briefly sighted resting on the protected, inaccessible beach below the observatory tower.

About 10:30 Monday morning, we received a report of a pup hauled out high on the rocks below the seawall along Harbor Avenue. The terribly thin pup had apparently come in at high tide quite early in the morning. Bright yellow tape was stretched between barricades, cones and stakes along the sidewalk above her.

Nicknamed Misty on this soggy day, she napped for hours inside her safety zone, oblivious even to firetrucks zipping by with sirens blasting. Perhaps she was deep in dreams, catching some of the many gunnel the cormorants were feasting on in the cove. If so, we hope those dreams come true because Misty really needs to fatten up to help ward off parasites and respiratory infections. The good news is, we did not observe any coughing spells or significant discharge. She returned to Elliott Bay shortly before 3 as the returning tide swept over her perch. Flipper hugs to the volunteers who endured the rain and educated those who stopped by to ask questions and take a peek at Misty.
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