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December brings gift of seal pups

Out on a pre-dawn search Monday for seal pup Dreidel (seen the day before at Jack Block Park with a serious, deep slash across the throat), Seal Sitters first responder instead found another pup at the base of beach steps on a small pocket beach.

Blocking off access to the beach, she set a tape perimeter, back from edge of the sea wall above the soundly snoozing pup. While it was difficult to get an identification photo of the pup, nestled against the cement, it was easy to see the smooth fur around the neck since he was sleeping belly up. This was a new pup.

Volunteers watched over him (or her) in a driving rain until shortly after 10am, when the pup swam off into Puget Sound.

Late that night, the hotline received a report of a pup surrounded by people taking photos on a different beach. First responders arrived minutes later, but the pup was gone. On the way home, they checked the pocket beach and, sure enough, the light-colored little pup that had been there earlier in the day was back again. In a downpour, once again a perimeter was set, with informational and “do not enter” signs to alert people of his presence, in hopes of keeping the pup relatively safe through the night.

At 6am, the silvery silhouette of the pup, illuminated by streetlight, could be seen at the base of the stairs. As skies brightened a bit despite the relentless rain, we were finally able to get an i.d. photo and the pup was nicknamed Mugsy (photo above). Volunteers chatted with enchanted passersby. Around 10am, Mugsy swam off for a late breakfast of squid, herring or other small fish.

Mugsy is the fourth positively identified pup we have had since November 29th.

Small seal pup Corny rested in an Elliott Bay cove on Wednesday, the 2nd, sighted below another sea wall late in the day. The next morning, he came ashore at the very dangerous Don Armeni boat launch, scooting over logs and up into the asphalt lot, where trucks drive through. Our first responder and helpful Coast Guard “assistants” encouraged Corny to return to the safety of the water.

There still has been no sighting of the wounded pup. If you see a pup onshore, please call Seal Sitters’ hotline immediately @ 206-905-SEAL (7325) and keep people and dogs away.

It appears that after almost two months of virtually no responses, the seal pup drought has finally ended.
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