Even seal pups aren’t safe from feeling the effects of the government shutdown; NOAA’s marine mammal stranding response unit couldn’t respond to calls of a stranded pup yesterday. Roland Rodriguez wrote to tell us of the situation, saying he called NOAA to try to get someone out there because dogs were harassing it. When Rodriguez called NOAA’s Marine Mammal Coordinator, he was met with a message that said they were shut down due to the government closure.
Rodriguez reached out to Seal Sitters, a local organization that protects stranded or injured seals along our shores. However, Seal Sitters were unable to reach the seal in time, as they were receiving too many requests to respond. Rodriguez says they received about 30 calls yesterday alone, and were having problems finding volunteers to go out to protect the seal.
Rodriguez says the seal eventually swam away when the tide came in. According to Seal Sitters’ website, the seal was likely just resting on the beach, as they are known to do. If you see a seal pup, Seal Sitters recommends that you not disturb the pup, and keep dogs and people away if possible. The Seal Sitters hotline is 206-905-SEAL.
Photo by Gerry Rodriguez