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Seal Sitters featured on Seattle Channel tomorrow, Sept 16

Seal Sitters will be featured on the Seattle Channel’s fall premiere night, Thursday, September 16, at 7 pm. The Seattle Channel is channel 21 on Comcast cable systems so check your local listings for the show “City Stream.” The segment, “Seattle Seal Sitters”, was produced by Emmy award-winning journalist, Penny LeGate, and videographer, Shannon Gee. This production team was present as Seal Sitters watched over both Primo and Spike over the course of two weeks. The segment will feature interviews with volunteers, the public and footage of the two seal pups who struggled to survive. We thank Penny and Shannon for their passionate commitment to helping educate the public about our beloved blubberballs.

Necropsy findings on Spike

We have received the initial necropsy findings from the WDFW Marine Mammal Investigations biologist. Spike weighed only 7 kg (15.4 lbs) - less than a normal birth weight for a pup. However, he did have some squid beaks left in his stomach, so he was trying his best to forage and survive. There were no parasites present and his umbilicus opening had healed. Spike was definitely a weaned pup, but we have no idea if he was weaned a bit too early due to an inexperienced mom, disturbance from humans or dogs, or if he just simply was not able to adapt on his own.

Spike back on shore today

Much to the relief of Seal Sitters, Spike hauled out on a private beach this rainy and cold morning. We were able to confirm identity by matching up spot patterns on the face. He is looking a little plumper and is resting comfortably.

Each day that Spike is allowed to gain strength, he has a better chance not only of surviving, but thriving. When weaned pups have such little blubber to sustain them, it is imperative that they spend as much time as necessary on the beach. This assures they are not burning precious calories needed to forage for food. Thanks to the beach residents for calling our dispatch line with the report of this pup. Seal Sitters, as part of the Northwest Stranding Network, plays a vital role in helping NOAA and WDFW monitor the health of our marine mammals. If a seal pup (or adult) hauls out on your property please give us a call.

Seal pup Spike hauls out by the beach volleyball courts

Seal pup season is definitely in full swing in West Seattle as another pup, nicknamed Spike, hauled out on the northern end of Alki beach this afternoon. Seal Sitters received a call around 1 pm and immediately established a safe perimeter around the pup. Numerous volunteers helped explain to the public that this was normal behavior for a seal to come onshore to rest and warm up. Spike is yet another tiny pup and a bit too thin. As evening fell, the temperature cooled down and a very rested Spike finally returned to the Sound about 9 pm. Thanks to all the volunteers who put in such long hours today. And thanks to Spike for inspiring some new volunteers to join Seal Sitters this afternoon. Click here to view a gallery of photos from today.
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