ASLC admits three harbor seal pups from the Copper River area in less than 72 hours.
June 9, 2023

May 26, 2023 – Over the last week, the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) admitted three harbor seal pups to the Wildlife Response Program from the Copper River area. A female harbor seal pup was admitted on Sunday, May 21, 2023, and a male and female were admitted two days later on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.

All three pups were reported to the ASLC’s 24-hour Stranded Marine Animal Hotline (1-888-774-7325) by separate callers. They were all spotted in different locations along the Copper River by different fishing boats, with no adult seals seen in the area. Newborn harbor seal pups cannot survive on their own so NOAA approved ASLC to respond to the three pups.

The Alaska State Wildlife Troopers were essential in transporting all three pups from the fishing boats to the Cordova Airport to be flown to Anchorage. Once the pups arrived in Anchorage, NOAA staff transported the pups to meet the ASLC Wildlife Response Team along the Seward Highway in Turnagain Pass. After transferring the patients to an ASLC response vehicle, they then completed their journey to the Alaska SeaLife Center for treatment.

The main concerns found by the ASLC veterinary team upon the initial admit exams for all three pups were malnourishment and dehydration. All three pups still had umbilical cords attached, signaling that all were less than a week old. The ASLC will continue to share updates on the patients’ status on their social media pages.

The Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program can only provide care for stranded and injured marine animals with help from corporate sponsors and individual donors. People are encouraged to contribute to the care of rehabilitating marine animals here: The Center acknowledges the ongoing generous support of the Wildlife Response Program from supporters like ConocoPhillips, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, PetZoo, Partners 4 Wildlife, Matson, GCI,  and a number of individual donors, funds, and foundations such as Stanley J Williams Fund, Mesara Family Foundation, and the NC Giving Fund.

Call first! Before approaching an injured or stranded marine animal in Alaska, call the 24-hour Stranded Marine Animal Hotline at 1-888-774-SEAL(7325). 

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