Rescue & Rehab Journal

June 23, 2016

July, 19th 2016

Female Pacific harbor seal pup PV1608 was observed alone on a beach by fishermen in South Naknek, Alaska. She was left without interruption for the day in hopes the mother would return. When the fishermen returned to the area the following day she was still there and remained alone. PV1608 was admitted to Alaska SeaLife Center's Wildlife Response Program on June 23, 2016, and estimated to be four days old. She was examined by ASLC veterinarians and found to be underweight and suffering from an umbilical cord infection and head wounds. Under the watchful care and expertise of Wildlife Response Program staff, in less than a month PV1608 has responded well to antibiotics, is re-hydrating and gaining weight, and she is now swimming strongly. She has weaned off of harbor seal milk formula and is now attending fish school under the tutelage of ASLC animal care staff. In fish school she is not only tranisitioning to eating fish, but also to catching live fish as well. A skill vital to preparing her for future release back into the wild. 

October 13, 2016

November, 4th 2016

Since arriving at the Alaska SeaLife Center and receiving vital care and medical attention from Wildlife Response veterinary staff, Pacific harbor seal PV1608 grew steadily stronger and healthier, and developed the skills necessary for her release and survival in the wild. After examinations that confirmed her ability to catch live salmon, and achievement of a strong fitness level and exceeding the minimum weight goal of 20kg (a scale tipping 25.2kg!), her release back to the ocean was scheduled. Although small and very thin at admit, this little girl always had the heart of a lion, or thought that she was as big as a Steller sea lion even though she was only a small pup.  Her tenacity was likely the key to her overcoming difficult beginnings to survive and thrive at the ASLC, and so she was named Wiinaq, which means sea lion in the Alutiiq language. On October 13, Wiinaq was escorted back to King Salmon in western Alaska, where she was found last June, and released into the Naknek River that leads to the Bering Sea.


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