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Seal pups in southcentral Alaska admitted to Alaska SeaLife Center

Alaska SeaLife Center

The Alaska SeaLife center admitted two abandoned harbor seal pups on May 20 and 27. These are the third and fourth pups to be rescued this year.

The first pup was found near the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Plant in Kachemak Bay, according to a press release from the center. The pup had a white coat, indicating it was born prematurely. Initial rescue attempts failed because the pup was difficult to reach by boat.

Another group of people found the pup two days later and was able to rescue it. After being admitted, SeaLife Center staff found the pup was malnourished and had multiple surface wounds.

This is the third premature pup rescued this season. One was found earlier this year in Kenai. Another was rescued from Nikiski that died shortly afterwards. According to the SeaLife Center, premature seal pups only have a roughly 50% survival rate after being admitted to the center’s wildlife response program.

The other pup rescued last month was found by commercial fishermen. A State Wildlife Trooper rescued the pup and transported it to Cordova. After an overnight stay, the pup was transferred to Anchorage and then the SeaLife center.

There, staff found the pup was dehydrated and underweight. As of Tuesday, they are still working to stabilize the seal pups.

If you suspect a marine mammal has been injured or stranded, you can call the Stranded Marine Animal Hotline anytime at 1-888-774-7325.

Jamie Diep is a reporter/host for KBBI from Portland, Oregon. They joined KBBI right after getting a degree in music and Anthropology from the University of Oregon. They’ve built a strong passion for public radio through their work with OPB in Portland and the Here I Stand Project in Taipei, Taiwan.Jamie covers everything related to Homer and the Kenai Peninsula, and they’re particularly interested in education and environmental reporting. You can reach them at to send story ideas.