Photos: Seal pup sunbathing at Golden Gardens
Some marine mammal services affected by government shutdown
Visitors at Golden Gardens were treated to an especially adorable sight last Saturday: a seal pup bathing in the sun. Ballard resident Erin McCoy was at the scene and sent a couple of photos.
Sun bathing seal pups are a perfectly normal thing. While they are pups (the birthing season runs from June to September), they will "haul out" onto beaches and rocks to get much needed rest and warmth, often for long hours, according to West Seattle Seal Sitters.
During this time, it's important to leave them alone. Keep a distance of at least a hundred feet, as if the mother feels she would be in any danger she may abandon the pup. Dogs aren't allowed on the beach, but if you do have one, make sure its on a leash. Most of the time, the seal pup is in no immediate danger, but if they are on the beach for over 48 hours make sure to call the Seattle Marine Mammal Stranding Network at (206) 695-2277.
If an animal is being harassed or is in danger, call NOAA law enforcement at 1-800-853-1964, or call 911.
The Stranding Network, which consists of volunteers, is still running during the government shutdown. However, services at the NOAA are affected. Northwest Stranding Coordinator Bruce Norberg will not be available until funding is appropriated and the shutdown ends. The website (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/) will still be up and running, but up to date information may not be available.
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