: Sphinx--PV 1411 :
Species: Pacific Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)
  Narrative

6/25/14 - After being observed on the beach for several days, the Alaska SeaLife Center Wildlife Response Team was contacted about a malnourished looking pup. With help from volunteers in Port Moller, the ASLC was able to get the pup to Cold Bay, where Biologist Stacey Lowe with the US Fish and Wildlife Service care for it overnight,thanks so much Stacy!! Both Grant Aviation and Pen Air donated flights to get the seal to Anchorage, where ASLC staff were able to pick up the animal and bring it back to our Rehabilitation facility in Seward.

6/26/14 - After an examination by Vet staff, we know quite a bit more about our newest seal pup. She is a girl, estimated to be about 7 days old, and she has a lot of small wounds on her rear flippers. She is also quite dehydrated, so the current plan is to tube her fluids and clean out her wounds about 5 times a day.

6/30/14 - The little girl is eating well and staff are confident she is hydrating well enough that they are no longer administering SubQ fluids. Vet staff gave her the ok to start swimming, so hopefully this will help her build up some muscle and blubber to keep her temperature stable! She has also started a course of drugs that will soothe her GI tract, as staff found some blood in her feces.

7/4/14 - Happy 4th of July! It was a warm one here, so staff have been keeping a close eye on all the pups, and letting them swim a little longer than usual.

7/9/14 - There is lots of exciting news, first off, this little pup has a name, Sphinx! Also, Sphinx had a vet exam yesterday and has been taken off her gastric medications. Her flipper wounds are healing up nicely, and she is swimming in deeper and colder water.

7/17/14 - Sphinx has started to show interest in fish during her fish school sessions. Staff saw her chasing them around the pool yesterday. She had a blood draw today to check and see how her body is holding up to the wounds she had sustained.

7/22/14 - Staff had noticed a bit of discharge coming from Sphinx's eyes, so vet staff cam in and took a look. She has been prescribed some medicated eyedrops, and it had been decided that she will move down to 4 tube feeds a day instead of 5, in the hopes that she will be hungry enough to eat fish on her own.

7/29/14 - After consulting with the vet staff, Rehab staff have decided that in order for Sphinx to become more comfortable with the idea of eating fish, they need to assist feed her herring a few times a day. She is still interested in fish during her fish school, but hasn't eaten anything yet. Her eyes are still a bit crusty, but the eyedrops appear to be helping.

8/2/14 - Happy Rehab Race Day!! Today runners in Seward and around the country helped raise money to help the ASLC care for and release animals just like Sphinx, so thank you!

8/5/14 - With a little practice, Sphinx has learned to eat fish offered by staff. The next step will be getting her to eat them in water, and finally on her own, but this is a great first step!! She also moved to an outdoor condo today and will be spending the night outside!

8/10/14 - Sphinx has injured a nail on her L front flipper. Staff believe she must have somehow bent it backward, because the nail bed is very irritated and there is some pus coming from it. It is now being cleaned at each feed just like her flipper wounds, and she is still receiving eye drops.

8/16/14 - Sphinx had a very eventful week! First, she was moved into an indoor pool which staff hope would be more flipper friendly. Then she was temporarily moved in with Sahara and Kilimanjaro, as all 3 seals are from the Bristol Bay area. Unfortunately, Sphinx is still not eating fish on her own in the water, so staff hoped she would learn this from watching the other seals. As she has made no steps forward, she has now been moved back into a tote in the hallway so that staff can easily observe her during swims and feeds.

8/19/14 - Sphinx is eating fish!! After a lot of work by our staff, she has finally figured out that fish in the water are her meal. She ate everything that was thrown into her pool today completely on her own! Go Sphinx!!

8/21/14 - Sphinx received a flipper tag today, ASLC #144!! This tag will help observers identify her in the wild, and allow the SeaLife Center to look up her medical records should she restrand.

8/30/14 - After a blood draw and swabs of the infected toenail, vet staff were able to identify the bacteria that Sphinx is having a hard time fighting. She was prescribed a more specific antibiotic today, and staff hope to see the infection clearing up soon!!

9/9/14 - Sphinx's wounds are healing up nicely! She is still on antibiotics, but her flipper has healed enough that she is back in the outdoor condos.

9/15/14 - Sphinx had a blood draw and a vet exam this week to check on how well her wounds are healing. The bloodwork shows that almost all the infection is gone, but she needs to stay on a gentle antibiotic for just another week to make sure everything is gone and she is healthy.

9/28/14 - Staff added some live salmon to Sphinx's pool today, and she did a great job catching them! She found them all very quickly, so staff are confident that she will do very well in the wild, and are beginning to plan for her release. At 18.6 kg she is getting very close to the release goal of 20 kg!

10/4/14 - Sphinx finally reached release weight of 20 kg! Today she had a full workup by vet staff. Blood, swabs, and her weight were all taken, and if everything is normal staff hope to release her later this week in King Salmon along with Kilimanjaro and Sahara.

10/7/14 - Two of our ASLC staff accompanied Sphinx, Kilimanjaro and Sahara to King Salmon for the release today! All three girls stopped and splashed on some puddles on the way into the water, but once they felt the ocean they were off!! Good luck in the wild Sphinx, and thank you to everyone involved in her rescue and release!