Thursday, December 9, 2010

A local sighting of wild weaned pups:

Every once in a while (usually due to some level of human interference) a seal pup needs a helping hand. For whatever reason some pups are abandoned and we're able to rescue them from certain starvation and send them to Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. During their stay at Wolf Hollow they'll be checked for any injuries or illnesses, fed a nutritious formula, gain lots of weight, and finally learn to swim and catch fish. After they meet the specific health requirements they're released back into the world to live out their lives as the wild harbor seal they were born to be. These rehabbed pups get a second chance at that "happily ever after" story.

Then there are the pups who don't need our rehab centers, and these are the stories we love to hear! A baby seal's best shot at life is to have a caring and attentive mother who will nurse it and teach it everything it will need to know to be a harbor seal. Only a mother can teach her pup invaluable life lessons such as effective hunting techniques, and how to watch out for those big black and white seal-eaters. These are the truly lucky ones, the ones with the greatest chance of survival. WMMSN volunteer Katharine Sell recently came across such a group near a popular seal haulout at Semiahmoo. While the larger adults haul out on the docks, these four weaned pups seemed content to rest together on a smaller floating log. Perhaps getting up on the docks is a bit too tricky for these pups right now. This will be just one of the many skills that both the wild weaned and rehabilitated seals will be practicing in the next few months, and we wish the best of luck to both!

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