Harbor-seal pups rescued in West Seattle and relocated

(Photo by Eilene Hutchinson)

Those two harbor-seal pups are swimming in more-secluded waters after a weekend rescue in West Seattle. The report and photos are from Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network:

On Sunday, Seal Sitters MMSN rescued two young, weaned harbor seals from the Duwamish Head area.

The pups, nicknamed Tango and Foxtrot (L-R above), had been using the highly visible and accessible beach to rest, coming and going over the past days. We began to receive troubling reports of people touching and harassing the pups after ignoring warnings and barriers.

One pup also had a fish hook in his mouth that had to be removed by a veterinary team from SR3. Thankfully that injury was slight. The pups’ proximity to fishing piers and the boat dock made them vulnerable to further entanglement. The decision was made to relocate them for the safety of the pups and the public.

(Photo by David Hutchinson)

With the assistance of SR3, WDFW Marine Mammal Investigations and World Vets, the pups were captured, given a medical exam, and taken by boat to a secluded South Sound island. Videos show Tango and Foxtrot frolicking in their new waters and Seal Sitters volunteers are gratified that the pups could be relocated together.

Harbor seal pupping season is currently underway in our area and seal pups will be trying to rest onshore. Please remember to stay away from pups, leash your pets, and call Seal Sitters at 206-905-7325 if you see a stranded marine mammal in West Seattle.

“Stranded” also covers marine mammals in possible distress offshore – even though some reports sometimes mistake normal behavior for trouble, SSMMSN would rather know than not know!

14 Replies to "Harbor-seal pups rescued in West Seattle and relocated"

  • Melissa A August 31, 2020 (12:06 pm)

    Thank you to SR3 and the Seal Sitters! They do great work for our local marine life and we are proud to support them! The pups certainly are very cute!

  • Elton August 31, 2020 (12:55 pm)

    I will never understand why people feel the need to harass/touch wild animals. Glad the seals are back out in the wild in a safer location!

  • anonyme August 31, 2020 (12:58 pm)

    The human species never fails to disappoint.  I’m glad Tango & Foxtrot will be able to live somewhat apart from it, where hopefully they can live in peace.

  • J August 31, 2020 (1:19 pm)

    Were they abandoned by their mother?

    • Suz August 31, 2020 (4:12 pm)

      Pups were weaned according to article so no longer nursing & no longer traveling with mother.  Just needing to rest & eat – very cool to see.  We are fortunate to live in such a place; however, the seals are vulnerable to humans & dogs.  Hopefully they adjust to their new digs.
      Great photos!

    • Sixbuck August 31, 2020 (4:47 pm)

      That is unknown at this time as the mother was unable to be reached for comment. 😷

  • Bill August 31, 2020 (2:48 pm)

    Great Job Seal Team πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ Semper Fi.

  • Kate August 31, 2020 (3:47 pm)

    J-The mothers don’t abondoned their pups;  mothers are typically out in the water eating so they can generate milk for the pups. The pups beach themselves so they can rest. That’s why it’s so important not to approach them. They get stressed easily which is one of the reasons why they have a high mortality rate. Thank goodness for Seal Sitters and Beach Naturalists!

  • flimflam August 31, 2020 (4:41 pm)

    Ugh why oh why must people mess with seal pups? Stay back, keep your dog quiet and away and leave them alone!!!!

    • JES September 1, 2020 (5:57 am)

      Keep your dog off the beach in general, since they’re not allowed by law.

  • Wendell August 31, 2020 (7:50 pm)

    When I hear about Tango and Foxtrot being harassed and handled by humans, all I can think of is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. What’s wrong with these Delta Uniform Mike Bravo Sierra Hotel India Tango Sierra?

    • T September 1, 2020 (6:50 am)

      🀣 Loved that Wendell!

    • AJ September 1, 2020 (12:38 pm)

      Well done, Wendell! :-D

  • anonyme September 1, 2020 (9:02 am)

    Wendell, you made my day.

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