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Pup hauls out on windy Alki Beach

A pup hauled out around noon today on Alki Beach. Wind and clouds kept crowds to a minimum while the pup rested onshore for over 8 hours. The pup, nicknamed Windy, has an infected wound on the left rear flipper and photos are being analyzed by NOAA and WDFW experts. Harbor seals use their rear flippers for locomotion in the water and the front flippers for steering. Sea lions, on the other hand, are quite the opposite - using their large front flippers to propel them through the water and the rear flippers and tail as a rudder.

We are hoping this wound is not serious enough to affect this little one’s ability to swim and successfully forage for food. Salt water can often heal such wounds and we will keep you posted with updates. The pup gave our photographer a nice yawn so we could see that all of the teeth have erupted. Based on this information, this pup is most likely weaned. Should you see Windy hauled out on one of our beaches, make sure you call Seal Sitters dispatch @ 905-SEAL (7325).

At right, volunteer Julie keeps a protective eye on Windy who snuggled next to the sea wall (foreground of photo) as the tide crept in this very brisk evening. It’s not always warm and sunny sitting duty as Julie and the other volunteers for today can attest. Thanks to all for their dedication!

It has been confirmed that the pup has an infected puncture wound - most likely caused by a bite from a dog or other seal. Remember to keep your dogs leashed at all times. The swelling around the bite is a good thing, meaning that the body’s white blood cells are fighting the infection. Windy’s overall body condition looks pretty good for a newly weaned pup. Our volunteers were out searching for the pup before daylight and throughout the day today, but there were no sightings on the beaches.

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