Stranding network seeks funds to save baby seals

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The Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network (WMMSN) is raising funds to make sure injured and abandoned seal pups have a place to go.

“We lost our rehab place this year,” said principal investigator Victoria Souze. “Pupping season starts in May and right now if I get a phone call I have nowhere to send the pups,” Souze said. “Our alternative is to let it die on the beach.”

In conjunction with the Whatcom Humane Society’s wildlife facility, WMMSN is working to set up a 24-hour facility, permitted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where pups can be taken to be stabilized and assessed by a veterinarian. Candidates for rehabilitation can then be sent to more distant facilities for recovery.

A GoFundMe campaign at gofundme.com/savingseals is trying to get the facility up and running in the next few weeks.

If a seal pup is seen alone on the beach Souze said it is possibly waiting for its mother and is not in danger. If you see a pup call the WMMSN hotline at 360/966-8845, and make sure to keep people and dogs at least 100 yards away. Network volunteers will monitor the pup for 48 hours to see if it needs help and take appropriate steps.

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