WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Reminder for beachgoers as seal-pup season approaches peak

Nice day to go to the beach – but if you do, heed this reminder from David Hutchinson of Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network:

West Seattle is entering its busiest 2-3 months for vulnerable harbor-seal pups using our local beaches. We ask that everyone please be alert and report any marine mammals you come across to the Seal Sitters’ Hotline at 206-905-7325. The young harbor seal pup in the photo was chased into the water yesterday by an off-leash dog. Remember, dogs are not permitted on Seattle Parks’ beaches, either off or on a leash. This pup appears to have some respiratory issues, which is common for many pups during the fall months. It is critical that these animals are able to rest undisturbed.

ADDED TUESDAY NIGHT: We don’t know whether it’s the same seal, but Cindy Roberts photographed this one basking at Constellation Park today:

10 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Reminder for beachgoers as seal-pup season approaches peak"

  • Lucy September 7, 2021 (10:43 am)

    Folks need to remember to keep their doggies off the beach!

    • kerstimuul September 7, 2021 (12:05 pm)

      This pup was actually chased off by a dog unfortunately. 

    • Woof September 7, 2021 (8:51 pm)

      Also, parents, please teach your children to respect and not harass wildlife.

  • HS September 7, 2021 (12:14 pm)

    I enjoyed a day at Alki this weekend with family. I was surprised when my sister thought baby seals rested on the outcrop of rocks on the far eastern side of the beach, even after reading the signs. But she’s from out of town and I believe that’s what an adult seal might do. So be aware that baby seals rest on the sandy beach, where you would sit with small children, where you’d launch your paddle board, where’d you’d naturally want to throw a stick for your dog. When I was there, three off leash dogs were playing in the water, swimming with their paddle boarding owners, fetching sticks and chasing their kid owners down the beach while the parents kept an eye on everything. If you’re an Airbnb owner, educate your guests.

    • Jason Bell September 7, 2021 (5:13 pm)

      This seal was indeed on the rocks east of Anchor Park before being chased off.

  • PatWS September 7, 2021 (12:39 pm)

    That poor little baby. I’m afraid it’s not a matter of “remembering” – people know full well dogs aren’t allowed on beaches, but they think their adorable little Rover won’t bother anybody. Every time I go to Lowman Beach or Lincoln Park, there are always dogs running around on the beaches, almost always off-leash, going right past the signs forbidding it. Hopefully yet more education about vulnerable seal pups will help, sooner or later.

  • RT September 7, 2021 (1:21 pm)

    Triple digit tickets might help too.  I don’t think I’ve ever been on a walk down to and around Alki Point without seeing off leash and on leash dogs on the beach. 

  • Jay September 7, 2021 (1:33 pm)

    “But my dog is nice.” – Every bad dog owner.

  • Kbota September 7, 2021 (3:38 pm)

    Hmmmmm, triple  digit tickets might actually make a difference.

  • anonyme September 9, 2021 (8:50 am)

    Harassment of marine mammals is a federal crime.  The law needs to be enforced.  Triple-digit fines are not nearly adequate; they should be much higher, and the penalty should include jail time for the offender.  The human offender, as it is not the dog’s fault that its owner is both mentally and morally challenged. Until offenders are put on notice that this behavior carries real penalties and will NOT be tolerated, the problem will continue.

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