The five seal pups at Wolf Hollow rehabilitation ponds have completed their journey and are ready to return to the wild. Captain, Marble, Arctic, Nymph, and West Coast Lady have reached their goal weight and have shown the necessary behavioral factors to survive in the wild. Wolf Hollow, a local non-profit organization dedicated to wildlife rehabilitation and conservation, has been preparing these pups for their release.
The release took place on October 21, with a small group of lucky individuals who won a viewing opportunity at a non-profit fundraiser. As the seals arrived at the shore, a pair of harbor seals poked their heads out of the water to observe the scene. According to Chand Stone, the Executive Director of Wolf Hollow, each seal pup has its own unique personality. While there may be some initially aggressive behavior, they tend to form groups and stay together.
The staff from Wolf Hollow and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network accompanied the seals and helped transport them to the release site. Once released, some seals immediately swam away, while others took their time. The cages were placed upright to prevent any attempts to return.
Stone explained to the group that the seals may find the buoyancy of saltwater strange at first, as they are used to freshwater in the rehabilitation ponds. Wolf Hollow has been rehabilitating and releasing seal pups since 1985, and they have noticed that strandings are common wherever humans are present. Negative human interactions, such as boat activity, can separate mothers from their pups and lead to strandings.
If anyone comes across a stranded seal or marine mammal, Stone advises against touching or interacting with them. Instead, they should call the San Juan County Marine Stranding Network, who will assess the situation and take appropriate action. Stone emphasized the importance of leaving this work to the trained professionals to ensure the safety and well-being of both humans and wild animals.
The article also mentioned a few of the individual seal pups and their journeys at Wolf Hollow. Captain, for example, arrived at just four days old, weighing 17.2 pounds. The staff treated him for a possible umbilical cord infection and slowly introduced him to a seal formula. Marble, Arctic, Nymph, and West Coast Lady also had their unique challenges and were successfully rehabilitated by the dedicated team at Wolf Hollow.
Stone expressed her gratitude to the staff and highlighted the efforts of wildlife rehabilitators Penny Harner and Elizabeth Bukovec, as well as education coordinator Shona Aitken. She emphasized that the work they do often goes unnoticed but is essential for the well-being of wildlife in the area.
The article ends with a reminder that human activities can have a significant impact on the lives of wildlife. Stone highlighted the importance of being aware of our surroundings and minimizing harmful interactions with animals. The seal pups, including Captain and his friends, are now exploring their new home in the wild, thanks to the dedication and care provided by Wolf Hollow.
Q: How long has Wolf Hollow been rehabilitating seal pups?
A: Wolf Hollow has been rehabilitating and releasing seal pups since 1985.
Q: Why do seal pups strand?
A: Seal pup strandings are usually caused by negative human interactions, such as boat activity, that separate mothers from their pups.
Q: What should I do if I find a stranded seal or marine mammal?
A: It is advised not to touch or interact with the animal. Instead, call the San Juan County Marine Stranding Network at 1-800-562-8832, and they will assess the situation and take appropriate action.
Q: Are the seal pups brought in with wounds from dogs?
A: Some seal pups may have bite marks from dogs.
Q: How many enclosures does it take to release an animal?
A: According to Stone, it takes three to six different enclosures to prepare an animal for release.
Q: How can I support the work of Wolf Hollow?
A: Visit their website to learn more about their mission and consider making a donation to support their rehabilitation efforts.