Seal pup found on beach: Abandoned or waiting for mom?

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on July 13, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 13 at 6:18 PM

NEAR OAK HARBOR, Wash. -- If you didn't know it was there you might accidentally step on it.

That's what Whidbey Island resident Scott Thomas is worried about. He spent much of Tuesday night and Wednesday checking in on a small seal pup flopping around on a beach near Oak Harbor.

"It's beautiful and I can't get anyone to do anything about it," said Thomas.

Experts say Thomas has fallen victim to the seal pup deception. The cute pups look abandoned and the mothers will not show up when people are on the beaches. Mother seals will leave them alone on a beach for 12, 24, even 48 hours. But at night, the mothers ride in on the high tides to feed and tend to their babies.

Thomas said he has seen no sign of the mother and is convinced it has been abandoned.

A representative of OrcaNet said she checked on the pup Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and is confident it is healthy and has recently been fed.

Thomas is doubtful but hopeful that's the case.

Mother seals have abandoned babies before, but it is extremely rare. Usually, mother and pup will leave the beach together in a few days.
 

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