Seward SeaLife Center officials examine a recently admitted harbor seal pup on June 22, 2021. (Kaiti Chritz / Seward SeaLife Center)

Seward SeaLife Center officials examine a recently admitted harbor seal pup on June 22, 2021. (Kaiti Chritz / Seward SeaLife Center)

SeaLife Center admits 2 more seal pups

The total number of seal pup patients at the center is now six.

The Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward admitted two more baby seals last week, bringing the total number of seal pup patients to six.

According to a press release from the center, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game found a female seal pup in Port Moller after it had been in town for a few days.

After approval from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the pup was picked up June 22 and transported to Seward on a flight donated by Lake Clark Air.

The veterinary team identified the baby seal’s main health concerns upon arrival, which were low body weight, dehydration and a puncture wound on her flipper. They concluded the injury she suffered was most likely from a predator. Veterinarians are continuing to monitor the pup to understand the severity of her condition.

On June 23, another baby harbor seal was located on a Juneau beach by NOAA officials. It appeared underweight and to be alone with no other seals in the area.

As of last Friday, the SeaLife Center veterinary team was still conducting preliminary examinations to determine the treatment necessary for the pup.

Updates on other patients

A male baby seal also found in Port Moller on June 15 is still in critical condition, according to the release. He arrived severely underweight and is still weak due to malnourishment, and cannot yet swim on his own. SeaLife Center officials are optimistic that he will be able to gain weight and strength.

The newborn male pup found in Seward on May 27 has progressed, but still is showing signs of neurological challenges that will likely never resolve. Because of this, officials at the center believe it may not be best to release him back into the wild since his challenges will cause significant survival disadvantages.

Two other baby seals found near the Little Susitna River and in Anchor Point, both females, are progressing quickly. According to the release from the center, the two pups were in outdoor holding areas in their own pools as of last Friday. They have also started eating fish formula and some whole fish, moving on from the rehydrating fluids they started on.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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