WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Elephant-seal sighting

Thanks to Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch for a rare sighting – an elephant seal off West Seattle. She saw this one from shore south of Brace Point, watching the transient orcas that swam by on Saturday. Checking WSB archives, we have two past photos from elephant-seal sightings, both from Seal Sittersin 2011 and in 2017.

6 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Elephant-seal sighting"

  • "You're gonna' need a bigger boat" April 5, 2021 (9:31 pm)

    Jaws is next! 

  • Brian April 6, 2021 (12:12 am)

    Perhaps related activity? Perhaps not. But I took a bike ride from WS through downtown to Myrtle Edwards Park today and there was a female elephant seal on the Myrtle Edwards beach! A few volunteers from (Seal Sitters? another group? I did not catch the logo on their vests) were there to help folks keep their distance and answer questions. 

    I was told she was resting on the beach while going through what’s called a “catastrophic molt” where they shed their fur over a short period. Despite the term it’s a natural, albeit intense, process for the animal.

    It should go without saying, but we have to say it anyway: if you see more of these animals on our West Seattle shores please, please give them plenty of space!

  • anonyme April 6, 2021 (7:18 am)

    I wonder if this (wonderful!) visitation has anything to do with transient orcas in the area?  Yesterday I read about a blue whale being killed by more than 70 orcas.   Nature, yes, but still the tragic loss of a blue whale.  Apparently, transients are thriving on their seal and mammal diets while the residents are suffering.

    • pnworcapodsquad April 6, 2021 (9:46 pm)

      The Blue whale was preyed upon by killer whales in Bremer Canyon off the Australian coastline.  It’s nature, as hard as it’s to hear, predator-prey have a balance in nature.  And yes, there have been multiple sightings of both a male and female Elephant Seal within the central Puget Sound region.  We should always give wild animals the space they deserve to live their lives and be the wild animals we all love. 

  • Also John April 6, 2021 (7:19 am)

    That would’ve been great to see.

  • Sara April 9, 2021 (7:36 pm)

    I was down at Myrtle Edwards tonight and the female juvenile elephant seal is still there on the beach molting. I spoke with a volunteer (I think from Seal Sitters?) who was there monitoring the seal, and apparently it has been there for a week. She said that elephant seals molt for a month, so it will most likely remain there for another few weeks. She said that the seal will go into the water for about 30-60 minutes during the day, and then return to the beach and rest there for hours. 

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