ASLC Wildlife Response Program to Release Harbor Seal Saturday in Seward
August 5, 2016

Seward, Alaska (August 5, 2016)– The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) is proud to announce the release of a male Pacific harbor seal pup on Saturday, August 6. The timing of the pup’s release coincides with the Center’s 18th Annual Wildlife Rescue Run & Walk, a fundraiser benefitting its Wildlife Response Program. The public and media are invited to attend.

What:Harbor seal pup release
When:Saturday, August 6, 2016 at 2:45pm
Where:Public beach area southwest of the Alaska SeaLife Center along Lowell Point Road, by the waterfall, in Seward, Alaska.

The pup was admitted to ASLC on May 17. Citizens reported seeing him on a beach in Seward near a high-traffic area, which may have deterred the mother from returning. After observing the pup alone for more than two hours and seeing no sign of the mother in the vicinity, Wildlife Response Program staff brought him to the Center. The pup, estimated to be one day old, showed signs of mild dehydration. Staff immediately began providing him the appropriate support and monitoring his progress around the clock.

In the following 11 weeks, Ipuk (meaning snail in the Sugpiaq language) was rehydrated and transitioned from a high fat, milk-based formula to eating and catching live fish. In hisfinal veterinary exam yesterday he met weight criteria and staff determined he was ready for release.

“Ipuk’s successful rehabilitation could not be more in tune with the events of this weekend,” said Dr. Kathy Woodie, staff veterinarian. “His release is the culmination of a lot of hard work by our staff and a wonderful opportunity for Wildlife Rescue runners, walkers, and sponsors to witness first-hand the program they are supporting.”

The ASLC is the only permanent marine mammal rehabilitation center in Alaska, responding to wildlife such as seals, sea otters, and also seabirds. The Program is authorized to respond to stranded harbor seals under an agreement with NOAA.

“Our Wildlife Response Program relies on donations to operate, respond to, and care for marine mammals and seabirds that are found injured or stranded throughout the state,” said President and CEO Dr. Tara Riemer. “We thank our 2016 program sponsors, Shell Exploration and Production and ConocoPhillips, Alaska, for their generous program support of wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and oil spill response readiness.”

ASLC’s 2017 Wildlife Response Program funding is currently unsecured and will rely on additional corporate sponsors and individual donations.

One lucky Wildlife Rescue participant will be selected to assist in Ipuk’s release. The race awards and door prize event will begin at 2:00pm in the Center’s atrium, following the race, which begins at 12:00pm. More information on the race can be found at this link:

About the ASLC
Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium. It 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  

The Alaska SeaLife Center operates a 24-hour hotline for the public to report stranded marine mammals or birds,and encourages people whohave found a stranded or sick marine animal to avoid touching or approaching the animal.  Call first!  1-888-774-SEAL

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