The photo and report are just in, from Robin Lindsey of West Seattle-based Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network:
I have very sad and troubling news to report.
Seal Sitters rescued a juvenile seal from the beach last Wednesday, the apparent victim of an attack by an off-leash dog. First Responder Lynn and I noticed the seal had puncture wounds on the throat as she rested at Constellation Park near the seawall. The pup returned to the water shortly afterwards, but was reported later in the day on a private beach just south of Harbor West Condos. We captured the small female and transported her to PAWS in Lynnwood, where sadly she died overnight. The necropsy exam revealed that the punctures were larger and “less professional” than that of a coyote. For more details and photos (go here).
I have attached the photo that was in my blogpost – it’s the best image by far, in that it shows puncture wounds and beautiful face of the young seal. What a tragic loss in West Seattle, where residents treasure the wildlife that shares our neighborhoods and beaches. We hope this will be a wakeup call to those dog owners who blatantly disregard leash laws.
If anyone has any information about a skirmish between a dog and seal sometime between Monday and Wednesday, please contact Seal Sitters (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This already had been a much-slower pup-sighting season than usual on West Seattle beaches. Any time you see a seal (or other marine mammal) on shore – or if you think one is in distress offshore – the Seal Sitters hotline is 206-905-SEAL.