Alaska SeaLife Center Admits Six Harbor Seal Pups in June
June 24, 2020

Seward, Alaska (June, 24 2020) – The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) admitted six harbor seal pups into the Wildlife Response Program during the first half of June.

The first five pups, four females and one male, were all found stranded in the Cook Inlet area. The most recent male pup, found on June 15, is from Juneau. All of the seals admitted to the program arrived malnourished and dehydrated, but with no other significant injuries. The pups are all in similar stages of recovery, receiving fluids and supplemental tube feedings. The goal is to increase their weight, boost their immune systems, and then teach them to fish before they can hopefully be released back to the area they were found stranded. 

Since interns and volunteers could not come to ASLC this summer due to COVID-19, the core Wildlife Response Team is working long hours to care for these six new seal patients and an adult sea otter. “Taking care of six young pups all needing to be tube-fed is a lot of hard work especially with our reduced staffing, but it’s rewarding. We've adapted to COVID-19 restrictions by using staff from other departments instead of hiring seasonal interns and coming up with more efficient ways to manage animal care.” states Dr. Carrie Goertz, Director of Animal Health. 

The most recent harbor seal pup was picked up in the Center’s new Wildlife Response van. This vehicle was generously donated by Marathon Petroleum Corporation, HDR Marine, Graphic Works, Partners4Wildlife, Sea Otter Foundation, and Reynolds Marine LLC. This van has arrived at an ideal time in the midst of the stranding season because mobility is vital for the Wildlife Response Team to quickly access patients from all parts of Alaska.

Due to the Center’s two-month COVID-19 closure and subsequent reduced visitation, ASLC is more reliant on corporate sponsors and community donors to operate this season. Since the Center is only receiving 25% of normal summer visitation, the costs of caring for patients is becoming increasingly daunting. People are encouraged to donate to the Wildlife Response Program through ASLC’s website:

The Center’s Wildlife Response Program is sponsored in part by Marathon Petroleum Corporation, BP, ConocoPhillips, PetZoo, Partners4Wildlife, HDR Marine, Sea Otter Foundation, Grizzly Pet Products, and the Borman Family Foundation whose generous support helps ASLC care for marine mammals like harbor seals.

About ASLC: Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a 501(c)(3), non-profit research institution and public aquarium in Seward, Alaska. The Center generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit        



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