12:12 PM: We’re getting multiple reports today about this, so in case you see it too: What looks to some like a “dead baby orca” is actually a dead sea lion, likely the same one that’s been seen on and offshore for a few days now. Kersti Muul gave us first heads-up about it yesterday. The decomposed carcass appears to have a light patch, so that’s why some have mistaken it for an orca. If it washes onshore again, it can be marked with paint, and “hopefully scanned,” Kersti says. If it washes ashore in West Seattle, the Marine Mammal Stranding Network here is Seal Sitters, 206-905-SEAL; in other areas, the regional hotline is 866-767-6114.
4:28 PM: As Kersti noted in comments below, there’s a live sea lion on the Harbor Avenue shore, too – a Steller sea lion, not as common in our area. Stewart L. sent this photo while it was back out in the water: