That’s Skittles the seal pup, nicknamed by Seal Sitters, who spent much of this past week trying to protect the too-thin pup while s/he tried to rest along Alki-area shores. The last update from Seal Sitters’ Robin Lindsey noted that Skittles was resting on an offshore platform/raft as night fell on Thursday. And that has led her to put out this reminder:
We would like to stress that people need to stay away from the two platforms when seals are resting there. We are getting increased reports of harassment, forcing the pups at times to abandon the rafts. Seal Sitters wants to remind everyone that disturbing a marine mammal – whether on shore or in the water or on a platform – is a violation of federal law, the Marine Mammal Protection Act. It is considered a disturbance or “take” if you so much as wake up a pup. Please stay 100 yards away when possible. Our hotline has been flooded with calls about kayakers, paddle-boarders and boaters in motorized craft getting to close. We have advised people to email us photographs of anyone who is close enough to disturb these resting seals and we will forward them on to NOAA’s Office for Law Enforcement for investigation. Alki Kayak has been very proactive in telling rental clients to stay away from any pup on shore or on the rafts. We hope that kayakers and paddle boarders will help spread the word among themselves to stay back.
These pups DESPERATELY need rest to survive. They are already struggling and can’t afford to waste precious calories. We don’t want these pups forced on shore where it is even more dangerous for them. PLEASE keep a distance when you are out in the Sound. It is truly a matter of life and death for these pups. And if anyone spots a pup on the beach, please call our hotline immediately at 206-905-7325 (SEAL).