Alaska SeaLife Center                                 One of the recently rescued harbor seal pups is seen here at the Alaska SeaLife Center.

Alaska SeaLife Center One of the recently rescued harbor seal pups is seen here at the Alaska SeaLife Center.

SeaLife Center welcomes 6 rescued harbor seal pups

The pups were all rescued in the first half of June.

The staff at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward have been busy this month taking care of the newest additions to the Wildlife Response Program — six harbor seal pups, all rescued in the first half of June, according to a Wednesday release from center.

Five of the pups, four females and one male, were found in the Cook Inlet area. The sixth is a male who was rescued in Juneau on June 15.

The pup from Juneau was picked up in the SeaLife Center’s new Wildlife Response van, which was recently donated by a number of the center’s corporate sponsors.

Wildlife Response curator Jane Belovarac said on Wednesday that this many rescues is not unheard-of for the SeaLife Center, which can see as many as 16 rescues in a year.

All of the seal pups arrived malnourished and dehydrated but did not have other significant injuries, according to the release. Belovarac said that the pups range in age from two weeks to one month and are all in similar stages of recovery. None of the pups have been named yet. Belovarac said that they usually wait until the animals regain a little more strength before giving them a name.

Due to COVID-19, the SeaLife Center has not hired summer interns and is not using volunteers, so the full-time members of the response team has their hands full taking care of the seal pups, as well as Zippy, an adult sea otter being treated for a bone infection after he was found in Seward with a zip tie around his wrist.

“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,” Dr. Carrie Goertz, director of animal health, said in the release. “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.”

Wildlife Response curators are treating the pups to increase their weight, boost their immune systems and teach them to fish. They will eventually release the seals back into the wild in the area where they were found. Belovarac said that they are being kept off-site, out of view of the guests, so that they can stay as wild as possible while they recover.

For more information, visit

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at

More in News

EPA logo
Alaska Native group to receive EPA funds for clean water projects

The agency is handing out $4.3 million to participating tribal organizations nationwide.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 6 new COVID deaths

The deaths, which included a Kenai woman in her 40s, pushed the total to 840 since the pandemic began.

Ryanna Thurman (right) speaks to a library employee at the Soldotna Public Library on Thursday, March 25 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna library seeks OK for grant fund purchases

The funds are made available under the federal American Rescue Plan Act

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Kenai man killed in vehicle rollover

The man was travelling northbound on the Sterling Highway on Tuesday.

Cheryl Morse and Tom Kleeman prepare Thanksgiving lunch at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Food bank opens doors for Thanksgiving lunch

“We don’t know what to expect, so we’re trying to still be cautious on our limited seating.”

Carter Kyle (left), Lincoln Kyle (center) and Brandon Kyle (right) hand off Thanksgiving meals at a drive through event hosted by the Salvation Army on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Thanksgiving on the go

Salvation Army hands out meals in drive-thru event

Bench creator, Brad Hughes, pours the molding material over the clay while Rob Wiard and Matt brush the liquid rubber over each character on the bench to ensure it is covered evenly. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Molds for the Loved Lost Bench are underway

Construction for the memorial bench continues as the rubber molds to shape the concrete are made.

Alaska Rep. David Eastman sits at his desk on the Alaska House floor in Juneau, Alaska, on March 5, 2020. Dozens of West Point graduates have demanded state Rep. Eastman resign from office over his ties to a right wing extremist group, saying his affiliation has betrayed the values of the U.S. Military Academy he attended. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
70 West Point grads call on Alaska lawmaker to resign

Fellow West Point graduates called on Eastman to resign after his membership in the Oath Keepers became public.

Most Read