A female harbor seal pup was admitted to the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program on July 4 after it was rescued from Fox Island in Resurrection Bay with injuries.
The seal was first seen on Fox Island on July 3 by people who saw that it was injured and reported it to the SeaLife Center’s Stranding Hotline. Officers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration located the seal the next day and transported it to the center.
Upon the seal’s arrival at the SeaLife Center, the responding veterinary team focused on treating puncture wounds caused by a potential animal attack or “failed predation attempt.” According to a SeaLife Center release on Tuesday, the team plans to continue assessing the severity of the seal’s injuries with radiographs and more exams.
In the wild, harbor seals face the biggest threats from humans, sharks, Steller sea lions and killer whales and can be found mostly in fresh and saltwater. According to the Alaska SeaLife Center, harbor seals frequent estuaries and tidal zones and are often seen near sandbars, rocky shores, mudflats, log rafts, piers and ice floats.
While harbor seal populations are considered stable worldwide, an 80% decline in seals’ Arctic populations has been reported over the last 30 years.
“Their population in Alaska is considered depleted,” the SeaLife Center’s website says.
More information on the Alaska SeaLife Center and on harbor seals can be found at alaskasealife.org.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org.