Speaking of marine mammals: The sea lion, the carving, and the hotline

January 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm | In West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

More marine-mammal news today:

(Image courtesy David Hutchinson)
On the beach at Constellation Park south of Alki Point this weekend, a striking sight: Near a log carved with Native-inspired art of a sea lion … the carcass of a sea lion. Jana first pointed it out to us via the WSB Facebook page, recalling that we had mentioned the carving in Lincoln Park back in 2012, and marveling at how the sea lion came to rest nearby. Then we heard from David Hutchinson of Seal Sitters, who also had spotted it, and noted that this is an eight-foot-long male California sea lion first reported to the group on January 10th – at the time, it was at Andover Place Park several blocks south, and they tracked it to the Constellation Park vicinity, where, he says, “it beached the next day.” Researching the carving, he then found our second story, from one year ago, when the carved log was sighted near Cormorant Cove Park. So, he deduced, “Since that date it has moved about 500 feet further north to where my photo was taken.” He also shared this closer look at the carving:

Besides marveling, as had Jana, that the sea lion and carving had come to rest almost together, David asked that we share this reminder:

Folks coming across any dead marine mammal on West Seattle beaches should report it to Seal Sitters at 206-905-7325. We respond, document/photograph the animal, and fill out a Level A report for NOAA. The animal is marked so that if it floats to another location, it can be identified. Before the recent funding cuts, a necropsy might have been performed to determine cause of death. Seal Sitters is not responsible for the disposal of dead animals on private property. Ones on public beaches are either returned to the water to re-enter the food chain, or Seattle Parks & Recreation is contacted for disposal.

The funding cuts he mentions are detailed here. And in case you didn’t already know, Seal Sitters wants to hear about live marine-mammal sightings, too, not just seals – same number as above, which also has a handy mnemonic, 206-905-SEAL.

2 Comments

  1. Sad…why would an 8-foot Sea Lion die? Have we depleted all its food source?

    Comment by WS Old Timer — 3:11 pm January 22, 2014 #

  2. The loss of federal funding for necropsies is unfortunate – unless something obvious and disturbing like a gunshot wound (none in this case) is sighted, those just don’t happen any more, so we won’t know … TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:21 pm January 22, 2014 #

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