Stranded seal pup
Early Sunday morning, May 16, 2021, SEA received a call from a concerned citizen about a pup seal on the beach around marker 145, which is between Bullard’s Beach and Whiskey Run. A message went out to those already on a phone tree text for Coquille Point. I decided to respond to the call and headed out with signage and flags. First I went to Bullard’s Beach but decided I didn’t want to walk what could have been 2 plus miles north. I ended up at Whiskey Run since no other entry point in between could be found. It was fate that I was being lazy and decided to try to find an easier route to this stranded seal pup. As I was walking south on the beach, I flagged down a truck coming north to ask if they had seen the pup. A local, Kristal, not only knew where the pup was but drove me the more than 2 miles south. As it turned out, if it were not for Kristal I would have had to walk more than 2 miles south instead of less than 2 miles north from Bullard’s. But it was meant to be that I meet this concerned citizen who wanted to help. We found the pup in the middle of the sandy beach with tire tracks all around. As we were placing flags and signage, the pup kept crying but then got motivated to turn around and head into the water. We both felt good that this pup would easily reunite with its mother and all would be good in the world again.
While we were traveling to the parking lot at Whiskey Run, Kristal said there was a dead seal just north, and it had been there at least 3 days. She drove over to it, and I was able to take a picture and send it to Jim Rice of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Kristal is now aware of how to respond and report these kinds of issues. She truly is a person who cares about wildlife and goes driving on the beach often. Since we had time, Kristal ended up telling me a story about how she rescued a Canadian goose with a broken leg. When she could not get any organization to take the bird, she decided to see if she could help it to heal. She made a splint for the broken leg. After three months of care, “Quacky”, as she named it, was successfully released near a pond inland. As we know, this was probably not the smart thing to do, but with no organization willing to help she just had to try and in the end all worked out. It is caring citizens like Kristal that make a difference, and I am glad I was able to enlighten her on what to do next time. And it was a rewarding experience knowing this baby seal pup was safe again.