The Alaska SeaLife Center Successfully Rehabilitates and Releases Seal
November 14, 2018

Seward, AK (November 14, 2018)– The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) recently released a male harbor seal from Clam Gulch on November 8, at Bishop’s Beach in Homer.

On July 15, bystanders first spotted the animal lying on the beach in Clam Gulch. After consulting with the ASLC Wildlife Response Team, Homer resident and ASLC Volunteer, Marc Webber, observed the seal from a distance. The seal was found very thin and not using his right flipper. Once he was recovered from the shore, Webber transported the seal to Soldotna, where he was met by ASLC’s wildlife responders.

This harbor seal was treated for a bone infection at the end of his right flipper. He was estimated to be about two months old, and quickly began eating as his health improved. Due to this animal’s injury, he required care longer than most seals. The staff remained cautiously optimistic that he would regain use of his flipper and become eligible for release. Since arrival, he has more than doubled in body weight going from 22 to 44 pounds in preparation for a release during the winter. ASLC veterinarian, Dr. Kathy Woodie states, “We’re so pleased he has made a full recovery. The goal of our Wildlife Response Team is always to work towards returning the animal to the wild when possible, so cases like this are always special.” 

The Wildlife Response Team released this seal Thursday, November 8, on Bishop’s Beach in Homer. A group of ASLC’s local volunteers were there to assist and observe the successful release of the seal back to the wild. 

Prior to the seal’s release ASLC Corporate Donor, GCI, was given the opportunity to name this seal because of their level of financial commitment to the Wildlife Response program. On Election Day, GCI encouraged the public to vote on a name for this rescued harbor seal. The name selected was Hubbard, fitting this year’s naming theme of Alaskan glaciers.

With the Alaska SeaLife Center responding to stranded marine mammals along 33,904 miles of coastline, volunteers are critical. ASLC President and CEO Tara Riemer explains, “As a non-profit, we could not have brought Hubbard full circle without our dedicated staff, volunteers, donors, and community. A special thank you to GCI for their support of the release of this seal."

If you want to follow along with other Wildlife Response Team stories, check the Rescue and Rehab Journal at the Center’s website at www.alaskasealife.org/rescue_rehab_journal.

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

About the ASLC: Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium. We are excited to be celebrating 20 years of generating and sharing scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. Over 80% of the funding for the Center’s wildlife response program comes from charitable contributions. The Center is thankful for the generous support of visitors, donors and our 2018 corporate sponsors, including BP Alaska, ConocoPhillips Alaska, SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, PetZoo, Silverton Mountain Guides, and GCI. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit www.alaskasealife.org.

 

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