The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Public invited to bid farewell to Godi the sea pup

 

Courtesy Alaska SeaLife Center

Godi the rescued Pacific harbor seal pup waits patiently for his return to the sea.

The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) is proud to announce the release of a female Pacific harbor seal pup on Friday, September 19, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. at the Public Access Boat Launch at Lowell Point Beach in Seward, AK

If Lowell Point road is not accessible, please monitor the SeaLife Facebook page for alternate location.

ASLC's Wildlife Response Team rescued the pup, named "Gobi," on July 3 after it was observed on the beach in front of Resurrection Bay Seafoods on Lowell Point Road. Staff observed the area for 24 hours to determine if the mother would return. At the time, the seal pup was a newborn and would not have survived on its own without Response Team aid. After authorization for the rescue from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Gobi was brought into the Center where she received immediate veterinary care and treatment for wounds on her head and chin.

Throughout the summer, Gobi learned to swim, hunt for fish, and socialize with other seals. After a final veterinary exam, the female pup met weight criteria and staff determined she was ready for release.

As President & CEO, Dr. Tara Riemer explains, "Our staff are feeling exceptionally rewarded to have rescued and rehabilitated a marine mammal found down the road from our facility, and to have our community be able to witness the release is very special."

The Alaska SeaLife Center is the only permanent marine rehabilitation center in Alaska, responding to wildlife such as seals, walrus, and sea otters. The Center's Wildlife Response Program responds to harbor seals with the authorization of NOAA. Once a seal is admitted to the Center, it is closely monitored by the veterinary and animal care staff at ASLC.

Dr. Riemer describes the program funding, "We have no federal or state funding to care for marine mammals, and we rely on donations to keep this program going. We especially thank Shell Exploration and Production, ConocoPhillips Alaska, and BP Alaska for their generous contributions to the Center in support of wildlife rescue and oil spill response readiness."

The Alaska SeaLife Center is a private non-profit research institution and visitor attraction, which generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska's marine ecosystems. The Alaska SeaLife Center is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit http://www.alaskasealife.org.

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

 

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