Visit Us
Conservation Science
About Us
Support the ASLC

Find Us On FaceBook
Stranded Animal Guidelines .Stranded Marine Animal Guidelines

Alaska SeaLife Center Distressed Mammal Observation Guidelines:

It is very important for human and animal safety to follow all of the following guidelines for observing a marine mammal possibly in distress.

Important: It is illegal to pick up a marine mammal unless authorized by USFWS, NMFS. The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) states all viewing must be at a distance which must not disturb the animal or change its natural behavior.


US Fish and Wildlife Service


An Observation Form can be printed by using the link at the bottom of this page.

  • Do not approach, touch, or feed the animal.
  • Help keep all people and domestic animals away.
  • Continue to note all physical characteristics and behaviors.
  • Continue to observe for any other animals in the area.
  • Take detailed notes with times of observations.
  • While you are assisting with crowd control and observations, you should call The ASLC or local authorities if you have any problems with individuals harassing the animal.
  • If the animal returns to the water, continue to observe until it is out of sight. Report to ASLC.
  • If the animal shows signs of health deterioration, call The ASLC immediately.
  • Contact The ALSC every two hours with observations unless instructed differently. Include contact numbers of observers on sight.

Call the Alaska SeaLife Center for any questions or concerns.

1-888-774-7325 (SEAL)

What Can You Do?
Try to gather the following information and call the ASLC Rescue and Rehabilitation Stranding Hotline as soon as possible:

Note physical characteristics.
Does the animal appear extremely skinny or weak?
Are there any obvious signs of injury?
Is the animal alone or are there other wild animals in the area?
How long have you observed this animal?

If possible, take digital photos of the animal and the area.

Gather as much information as possible before you call. If available, have someone continue to observe the animal and keep others away. ASLC Rescue and Rehabilitation Staff will guide you as to what to do next.

An Observation Form in Adobe PDF file format can be printed by clicking the following link:

. Click the following link to download & install Adobe Reader (R):

Back to Top


Privacy Policy  l  Contact Us  l  Membership  l  Contribute  l  Board of Directors  l  Discovery Gift Shop