(Photo by Robin Lindsey)
Seal Sitters‘ Robin Lindsey says this seal-pup season has already had more sightings, and more deaths, than prior seasons, and it’s not over yet. This morning, sad news about one pup many watched the week before Thanksgiving:
“Moonshadow” came ashore at Duwamish Head (commonly known as Anchor Park) every night that week except one. Pretty much like clockwork, we could expect him about 6ish in the evening, returning to the Sound around daylight the next morning. Volunteers taped off access to the small beach west of the pier each evening.
As the week wore on, we began to suspect that he had some health issues as his weight began to drop and he had nasal discharge.
Wednesday it was not possible to capture him due to his position on the beach and tidal concerns. However, early Thanksgiving morning we were able to successfully rescue the pup and transported him to PAWS where he died overnight. His death was a shock since he was not exhibiting overt, tell-tale signs that would indicated how sick he indeed was.
Seal Sitters thanks everyone who gave Moonshadow a little bit of urban beach to rest in his struggle to survive. It does drive home the reality that these pups are in a daily struggle between life and death in these colder late fall and winter months – and their health can change drastically in a matter of days.
This has been a trying and very busy year for Seal Sitters. We have had more pups, more responses and more deaths than any prior recorded year – with several weeks still left on the 2013 calendar. Our statistics for “harbor-seal-pupping season” are based on the response to our first newborn or newly weaned pup of the year (usually in July or August) until the end of the year, Dec 31st. We’ll be updating blubberblog this week with statistics to date.
Meantime, if you see a seal, pup or grown, or other marine mammal on a West Seattle beach, call Seal Sitters at 206-905-SEAL.