Ellie’s Furcast: Rescued pups of the Alaska SeaLife Center
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - According to Halley Werner, an animal care specialist at the Alaska SeaLife Center, her job is unpredictable.
“I can come in one day planning for a nice low-key day and then that phone rings, that 24-hour hotline rings, and I could be getting a baby otter I could be getting an injured seal,” Werner said. “It really keeps you on your toes.”
And that is exactly what happened recently. The center now has two new members, both rescued about a week and a half apart.
“The seal pup came to us first, he arrived on Aug. 22. And he actually was found out here in Resurrection Bay outside of Seward swimming around and trying to climb onto the swim step of a boat,” Werner said. “The sea otter came to us more recently on Sept. 7. And his story is a lot more sad actually, he was found on top of his mother who was very near death’s doorstep, so she was dying.”
Thanks to good Samaritans, the SeaLife center was called and the team jumped into action.
“The first step, no matter what the animal, is to do a pretty thorough veterinary checkup,” Werner said. “So we need to figure out what’s wrong before we can help them get better.”
And when the pups are determined healthy, the center determines the next best steps.
“The harbor seal, we are actually very hopeful that he will be a good release candidate,” Werner said. “So that’s what we’re working towards with him. Harbor seals don’t require a lot of maternal care.”
But not every rescued animal will return to the wild.
“For the sea otter, it’s a little bit of a different story. Because he is still dependent on mom. We now need to step in and be mom. Sea otters take a lot more care from their mother. They have much higher requirements. And without stepping in for that much care that makes them a very poor release candidate. They rely way too much on people,” Werner said. “So because of that he actually won’t be released and we’re preparing him for a life under human care. He’ll go to another facility that already has otters so he’ll have otter friends.”
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