ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:58 PM: About a week and a half ago, Seal Sitters FYI’d us about another dead sea lion on a local beach, just in case anyone asked, saying they had notified Seattle Parks, since in this case, it’s their beach, so it’s their problem. It was in a fairly high-profile place – Seacrest, near the West Seattle Water Taxi dock. It’s still there, according to several people who asked us about it in the past few days, so today we inquired with Parks to see what their plan is.
So far, Parks spokesperson Christina Hirsch tells us, “We have been monitoring the situation and exploring possible options for removing the animal. The beach location is extremely difficult to access with trucks and heavy-lifting equipment because of the retaining wall. We currently don’t believe it is feasible to safely access the site to remove the animal — which we estimate weighs several hundred pounds. For now, we believe the best option is to let nature take its course and for the animal to decompose and/or wash back out to sea. We have signs at the site warning people to stay back.” The highest tides of the month are coming up next weekend, 12.9 feet on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
P.S. If you see a marine mammal on a local beach – alive or not – Seal Sitters’ hotline is 206-905-SEAL.
2:52 PM: Parks spokesperson Hirsch just sent this update after speaking with the Southwest-region crew:
This afternoon, staff were able to manually push the sea lion out into the water with large garden rakes. We had staff members waiting in the water with a large bag to catch the animal. The bag was then manually brought to the edge of the beach and a hoist was used to place it on a truck for disposal.