Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wolf Hollow field trip

If you've been a fan or follower of me on FatBottomBags for a while,  you'll remember the little seal pup that we found out here on Lummi Island back on July 27th. He's the cute pup in the picture above.

Here's Chitenango napping on the beach at Lummi Island

A few of us in the Whatcom Marine Stranding Network live out here and so we all took turns observing him on the beach.  Unless an animal is in distress that's what we do, observe and keep the public back far enough from the marine mammal so that it can be undisturbed.

Fortunately, he was on a private beach area, so there was no pressing need to have an observer there at all times.  We checked in on him every few hours over the daylight hours of the next 2 days.

The first evening we were hopeful because he had moved down the beach on his own.  We thought that this might indicate his mother was coming in during the dark hours to nurse him.

The first night at sunset he'd moved down the beach about 200 yards

Unfortunately by the second day it was obvious that he had been abandoned on this stretch of beach and he was too young to fend for himself.  So one of our volunteers took him in a carrier by boat to Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to be cared for.

By the next morning he'd moved back and looked very thin.
Now he was crying out in distress and was becoming a little 
too friendly toward the volunteer observers.
He was a sickly 14.6 pounds upon his arrival.  The great folks at Wolf Hollow named him Chitenango and  nurtured him with formula feedings, medicine and eventually whole fish.  Now that our little Chitenango is eating fish on his own he's up to a healthy weight of 49.8 pounds as of  10/9/09.

So now Chitenango is healthy and ready to be released and live the life of a harbor seal.  Today I'm off on a field trip to tour the rehab facility and to witness  his return to the wild along with 2 other rehabilitated pups, Lotis and Dragonfly.

I will be posting to Twitter and Facebook throughout the day with interesting facts and I will blog about the full story tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Being a volunteer with WMMSN has been extremely rewarding and I get to learn so much!  Hope you will consider supporting our efforts by donating or volunteering.

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