Ringed Seal Wildlife Response Patient from Dutch Harbor has Passed
May 21, 2021

Seward, Alaska (May 21, 2021)–  The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) is saddened to announce the passing of the juvenile ringed seal admitted to the Wildlife Response Program on May 12.


The ringed seal, found in Dutch Harbor, arrived malnourished, dehydrated, and wheezing. Wildlife Response staff vigilantly treated the animal, but unfortunately he passed during the night of May 16. “I thought he had come to us in time as he had an attitude and resisted us when we handled him. However, he was suffering from parasitism, malnutrition, emaciation, dehydration, and a bacterial infection and unfortunately succumbed to those problems,” states ASLC Director of Animal Health, Dr. Carrie Goertz. 


The general findings after the preliminary necropsy revealed he was severely immunocompromised, showed signs of bacterial infection likely pneumonia or bronchitis or both, and organ congestion, which is consistent with shock possibly from decreased lung function or infection. The specific cause of death is still unknown and the team at ASLC awaits results from more extensive testing. 


The Alaska SeaLife Center thanks Ravn Air for generously donating a flight for this seal from Dutch Harbor. Without their help the animal would not have made it to the Center as quickly. The Center also thanks donors that gave to the seal’s care. The Wildlife Response Program can offer second chances for animals like this ringed seal because of generous program contributors.


About ASLC 

Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a 501(c)(3), non-profit research institution and public aquarium in Seward, Alaska. The Center generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit www.alaskasealife.org.

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