Rehabilitated seal released at Bishop’s Beach

The Alaska SeaLife Center released a male harbor seal named Hubbard back into the wild from Bishop’s Beach in Homer on Thursday, Nov. 8.

The seal was brought to the SeaLife Center after it was spotted on the beach by bystanders in Clam Gulch this July. Homer resident and SeaLife Center Volunteer Marc Webber observed the seal from a distance, after consulting the SeaLife Center Wildlife Response Team. The seal was very thin and not moving his right flipper.

Webber recovered the seal and transported him to Soldotna, where he was met by the Wildlife Response Team.

While under the SeaLife Center’s care, the seal was treated for a bone infection at the end of his right flipper. Because of his injury, his recovery time took longer than most seals, according to a press release from the SeaLife Center.

“The staff remained cautiously optimistic that he would regain use of his flipper and become eligible for release,” the release states.

The SeaLife Center estimated his age at time of rescue at about 2 months old and he weighed 22 pounds. While under their care, he began eating, his health improved and he nearly doubled in weight.

“We’re so pleased he has made a full recovery,” said SeaLife Center veterinarian Dr. Kathy Woodie. “The goal of our Wildlife Response Team is always to work toward returning the animal to the wild when possible, so cases like this are always special.”

Hubbard was named earlier this month through a public vote hosted by GCI, a SeaLife Center corporate donor. He is named after Hubbard Glacier, a tidewater glacier off the coast of Yakutat, keeping with this year’s naming theme at the SeaLife Center of Alaskan glaciers.

The seal was released by the Wildlife Response Team and a group of local volunteers at Bishop’s Beach on Nov. 8.

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