Alaska seal, sea otter pups rescued after being found alone and stranded

Female harbor seal pup (right) and sea otter pup (left) being cared for at the Alaska SeaLife...
Female harbor seal pup (right) and sea otter pup (left) being cared for at the Alaska SeaLife Center. Photos courtesy of ASLC. (KTUU)
Published: Jun. 13, 2018 at 11:15 AM AKDT
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The Alaska SeaLife Center has two very new additions after separate pups were found stranded and alone, crying out for help.

A female harbor seal and female sea otter pup were admitted to ASLC in the last several weeks, according to a news release made by the center. They are reportedly both just days old, and were separated from their families.

Both pups were spotted by onlookers, who contacted authorities to have them rescued and brought to the center for treatment.

The harbor seal pup was found on May 10 in Homer after the center believes she was separated from her mother when the tides "changed drastically."

Alaska Wildlife Troopers brought the young seal in where she was hydrated and examined. The ASLC believes the pup will be able to be rehabilitated, and it "a prime candidate for release" back into the wild.

As for the sea otter pup, she was spotted by boaters, floating on her own in the middle of Prince William Sound. She was taken to ASLC on June 1.

"The good Samaritans became concerned when they heard the pup screaming and saw no signs of other otters in the area," ASLC wrote in their statement. "They noticed the pup go face down in the water, which sparked them to pick the animal up."

In the end, the pup was admitted and is being monitored for pneumonia from inhaling sea water. The young otter is "strong," the vets say.

Dr. Kathy Woodie with ASLC said, "We’re so pleased she readily took to bottle feeding. Often sea otter pups take days before they will latch on a bottle and must be tube fed to receive critical nutrients."

While these cases were successes, the center warned against haphazard rescues based on what could be a perceived distress situation.

"The first reaction from an untrained observer is often to approach the animal," ASLC wrote in a statement, but that might not always be the right thing to do.

Animal Care Specialist, Halley Werner notes, “Some animals leave their young in what they perceive to be a safe place while foraging for food and will return shortly."

Instead, the center urges to call 1-888-774-SEAL before intervening.