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This West Seattle volunteer group helps protect baby seals

The Seal Sitters are a group of volunteers who protect the seal pups who rest on the shores of West Seattle. #k5evening
Credit: KING 5
The Seal Sitters protect seal pups who come to shore in West Seattle.

SEATTLE — The shores of West Seattle — Alki Beach, Lincoln Park — are hopping places. But sometimes, there's an unexpected visitor with flippers instead of feet. A seal pup!

Harbor seal pups often emerge on Puget Sound beaches to warm up. That's where the Seal Sitters come in — a group of volunteers dedicated to protecting and watching over seal pups who grace West Seattle beaches.

The Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network (Seal Sitters for short) is an all-volunteer group dedicated to protecting marine mammals and encouraging respect and dedication to our natural marine ecosystem. On average, they respond to 200+ calls a year. 90% of those are baby seals.

Credit: KING 5
The Seal Sitters protect seal pups who come to shore in West Seattle.

If you're in West Seattle and spot a seal pup on the shore, keep your distance and call the Seal Sitters hotline: 206-905-SEAL

The Seal Sitters will cordon off a wide section of beach, ensuring the seal pup isn't disturbed by human interaction. They'll monitor the pup until it either returns to the sea, or if they believe it needs medical attention.

Many people believe that a lonely seal pup on the shore means that it needs help. That's often not the case. Many pups arrive on land to warm up and then return to the water. Giving the pup plenty of distance is the best thing you can do for them.

Credit: KING 5
The Seal Sitters cordon off a wide area to ensure the pup isn't bothered.

The Seal Sitters often work with groups like SR3 to rehabilitate seals. In the case of the little seal that appeared on Alki Beach, the SR3 arrived and took the pup to their rehabilitation center, naming for Cascade. A few months later, she was released back into the wild — happy, healthy, and chubbier than ever!

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