A newborn harbor seal, one of nine now in the care of the Alaska SeaLife Center, is comforted by staff of the center’s Wildlife Response Program. Photo courtesy of ASLC

Five more newborn harbor seal pups from the Kenai and Alaska peninsulas have been admitted to the Alaska SeaLife Center’s (ASLC) Wildlife Response Program, bringing the number of young harbor seal pups in need of ASLC care to nine.

All five of the latest pup patients reported through the ASLC’s 24-hour Stranded Marine Animal Hotline were reported to be dehydrated, underweight and with umbilical cords still attached, the center said in a statement released on June 14.

In each of the five new cases, NOAA approved rescue after determining the seals were unlikely to survive without intervention.

One of the latest harbor seal pups brought to the Alaska SeaLife Center is examined by staff of the center’s Wildlife Response Program. All nine of the pups currently being cared for were determined to be dehydrated and malnourished. Photo courtesy of ASLC

The five included a male from Pilot Point on June 2, a female from Homer on June 3, a male from Kenai on June 4, a male from Homer on June 8, and a female from Nikiski on June 10.

Stabilizing treatments are being administered by wildlife response and veterinary staff, who are monitoring each of the pups closely.

The first three pups reported to the Stranded Marine Animal Hotline in early June were spotted alone at different locations along the Copper River by fishing boat crews and were transported to the ASLC, where they were diagnosed as suffering from malnutrition and dehydration. All three still had umbilical cords attached, a sign that they were less than a week old. 

A staffer of the Wildlife Response Program holds one of the five latest harbor seal pups brought to the Alaska SeaLife Center for care. Photo courtesy of ASLC

The fourth newborn harbor seal pup, estimated to be less than two days old, was found on a crowded fishing beach in Nikiski, also suffering from dehydration.

Anyone spotting an injured or stranded marine animal in Alaska is advised that before approaching the animal to call the hotline at 1-888-774-SEAL (7325).

ASLA relies on financial support from individual donors and corporate sponsors contributing to their care by donating. Contributors include ConocoPhillips, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, PetZoo, Partners 4 Wildlife, Matson, GCI, and a number of individual donors, funds, and foundations such as the Stanley J. Williams Fund, Mesara Family Foundation, and the NC Giving Fund.