(Photo by David Hutchinson; courtesy Seal Sitters)
Over the weekend, we published yet another reminder from Seal Sitters that too much human attention can endanger seal pups now appearing around the Sound, like the newborn pup nicknamed “Sparkle” turned up on a platform off west Alki on Saturday. It was determined Monday, in consultation with state wildlife authorities, that Sparkle’s life was at risk because mom wasn’t coming back, so she was rescued from the private beach near the platform and taken to PAWS. Seal Sitters’ Robin Lindsey explains:
The emaciated newborn is almost certainly a victim of human interference, as the barrage of boater harassment of seals on the raft was virtually non-stop all weekend.
We warn people over and over that a mom will abandon her pup if there is too much disruption from people and dogs. And studies have shown that stress takes a terrible toll on young pups – these animals need to be given the space to rest in peace.
We hope this pup will survive at PAWS, but it will be a tenuous and lengthy rehab. If she makes it through to be released back to the wild, she will never have the advantage of mom’s teachings to help her thrive or even know how to integrate into harbor seal society. This is the sad reality of human interference. Rehab does not guarantee her survival post release. A pup’s best chance to beat the 50% mortality odds is to be raised those first 4-6 precious weeks with mom.
More photos and details are on Seal Sitters’ Blubberblog.
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