The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) has admitted its first northern fur seal patient in six years! The female pup, estimated to be around six months old, was seen swimming erratically near the shore in Sitka, Alaska, and was reported to the ASLC 24-hour stranding hotline. The main concerns found by the ASLC veterinary team were dehydration, malnourishment, and signs of an unknown infection. Despite these concerns, the pup was active and alert upon examination.
Northern fur seals are relatively uncommon patients for the ASLC Wildlife Response Program, and it has been six years since the center has cared for one. The last time a fur seal was admitted was in 2017. Northern fur seals are fascinating creatures and are an important part of the ecosystem in the northern Pacific Ocean. These marine mammals are known for their dense fur which keeps them warm in the cold waters. They feed on a variety of fish and squid and are excellent hunters, diving up to 1,000 feet in search of food.
The ASLC’s Wildlife Response Program is vital in providing care for stranded and injured marine animals. The program is made possible by federal grants, corporate sponsors, and individual donors. Companies like ConocoPhillips, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Matson, PetZoo, GCI, and a number of individual donors, funds, and foundations have been generous in their support of the program, and the center is always looking for more support to continue its important work.
Visitors to the Alaska SeaLife Center can learn more about northern fur seals and the important work being done by the Wildlife Response Program. The center is dedicated to the study and conservation of Alaska’s marine life, and its mission is to advance our understanding of the marine environment and promote conservation through research, rehabilitation, and education.
So, if you’re ever in the area, be sure to check out the Alaska SeaLife Center and support their conservation efforts. You can also donate to the care of rehabilitating marine animals at www.alaskasealife.org/donate. Every little bit helps in ensuring a brighter future for these magnificent creatures.