Seal pup recovering at PAWS

The female seal pup that was found last week on the beach at Golden Gardens is recovering at PAWS, Sylvia Moss the Public Affairs Coordinator tells us.

Photo courtesy PAWS.

The pup, nicknamed “Sparky” by volunteers, was dehydrated and had wounds on her flippers and body when PAWS brought her in Saturday. Now, Moss tells us, the wounds are healing nicely and she’s responding to antibiotics. Because she has teeth, they suspect she’s about three weeks old and weened from her mother, Moss says.

PAWS Wildlife Rehabilitator, Nicki Rosenhagen explains, “We give them the stuffed animals in their tubs for comfort and enrichment.”

Since coming to PAWS, Sparky has been swimming and lounging around, Moss tells us. They are tube-feeding her at this point and hope to feed her fish by the end of the week.

Photo of Sparky courtesy Marilyn, a volunteer with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

Moss tells us that once rehabilitated, the plan is to release Sparky back into the wild near Golden Gardens. Since they don’t know exactly how old she is, “We mostly look at behavior,” Moss says. The factors they look for are whether she can catch fish, eat on her own, has all her teeth and is gaining weight.

14 comments on “Seal pup recovering at PAWS”

  1. I’m curious- why did PAWS pick up this seal pup? Was it the injury? I thought we were supposed to leave them on the beach so that they can wait for their mother to return. But what happened? It’s mother didn’t return (because it was weaned?) or for some other reason? Or because it was injured? I’m just curious if anyone knows more about it. Thanks!

  2. Actually, it doesn’t really say why PAWS took her specifically in. It says why they take certain pups in sometimes. :)

  3. I think it’s pretty clear: “ ‘She’s emaciated. She’s very dehydrated. And she has wounds on her flippers’… After two days on the beach in poor health, Marilyn said the decision was made to take the pup to PAWS.”

  4. The first article said the appeared to be abandoned because the mother had not returned after a couple days. That can happen on crowded beaches with lots of human and boat activity.
    And because Harbor seals are protected under WA law, any adult or juvenile that is injured can be removed by state wildlife officials. Since this seal did show signs of injury and the mother was no longer there it’s most likely that wildlife officers were called in and took the seal to PAWS.

  5. But what was the decision? Was it the things listed above? Because I’ve seen wounds and worse on pups that were left. So …. ?

  6. Heh. I clicked “Like” but meant to hit “Reply”.

    Anyways, no need to be rude here.

  7. You’re right, Ryan. We’ll remember that next time you require medical intervention.

  8. Oh! We should also probably stop eating factory farmed animals, while we’re at it, since we’re going with the ‘like nature intended’ line of reasoning.

  9. I was at golden gardens on thursday september 2nd and saw the pup on the beach. I also noticed a seal out in the water who seemed to be looking in at the beach and have a picture of the toher seal on my camera at home. it’s possible that the seal that was in the water was mom? so i think mom was aware that pup was having a difficult time and was either scared off by the crowds standing around the pup or *shrug*. anyhoo, there was another seal around

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