Seal pups showing up on Edmonds beaches — but please don’t disturb

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A baby seal takes a break at Olympic Beach Wednesday.

Story and photo by Chuck Woodbury

This cute harbor seal pup took a break from swimming to soak up some sun on Olympic Beach Wednesday. The four-week-old pup showed up at about 11 a.m. and was still there just north of the fishing pier at 2:30 p.m.

“It’s perfectly normal behavior,” said Susan Morrow, the founder of Edmonds Seal Sitters, a volunteer group that watches over the youngsters when they come ashore. “The babies haven’t developed a fear of humans yet at this age. An adult seal would never show up at such a busy place.”

Morrow said about a dozen pups have rested on local beaches in the just the last three days. Shortly after this pup showed up, another one about the same age took a break on Marina Beach. “The babies wean from their mothers at about four to six weeks,” Morrow explained. It’s hard to know if these pups are on their own or if their mothers are out there getting something to eat.” Morrow said the pups may continue to show up on local beaches into October.

Edmonds Seal Sitters is always looking for more volunteers to watch out for baby seals, to make sure good-intended humans don’t interfere. It’s actually illegal to disturb the animals according to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. You can reach Morrow at 425-327-3336.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The off leash dog park is adjacent to one of the beach where the seal pups are. There is nothing to stop the dogs from running down and disturbing the seal pups. I have seen many dogs from the off leash park, running freely down the beach.
    Shouldn’t the off lease area be closed during seal pupping time? The dogs certainly don’t know any better, but shouldn’t that area be closed while there are seal pups on the beach?

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