Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Let's Talk About Seals!

Sorry about the posting delay folks! So, let's get right down to business and talk about the seals. And I need to forewarn you that there will be a couple of graphic photos in here, so be prepared!

We had 25 seals in as of last Saturday. It was kind of funny, as I wandered over to the biggest seal pool and only saw 5 seals hauled out on the center platform. Then all of a sudden the water erupted in seals!

We have had a few come in with some man-made injuries as well. This one is Reef. I took this picture while I was giving her a bath, hence the angle looking a bit odd.

She came in with a pretty nasty boat prop injury to her back flipper.

She seemed to be doing well in spite of her injury, but I came in last week to find out she hadn't made it. The necropsy showed that the boat impact did a number on her insides as well.

We also had a seal that came in with a fish hook caught in her mouth. She was fine outside of that and was the queen of one of the pools by the time I left on Saturday. But if that isn't a reason to try hard to retrieve lost hooks when fishing, I don't know what is. I mean, who knows how this may have affected her in the long run if she hadn't been brought in!

This is Anchovy. He is one of two VERY emaciated seals that came in a couple of weeks ago.

The other seal had died and as of 2 Saturdays ago, they weren't sure he was going to make it either. When animals get that emaciated their ability to digest food becomes almost non-existent. You can see just how skinny he is and I was advised to fill his tub up with just enough warm water for him to splash around in. I went in last Saturday not expecting to see him, but see him I did! He has gained weight and is doing GREAT!!!

Meet Limpet. He came in with a rather gruesome eye injury!

After being told that he would most likely never see out of that eye again, I asked how that would affect his ability to hunt for fish, since, if only having one eye has the same affect on a seal as it does a human being, he wouldn't have depth perception. I was reassured that seals usually hunt in water to dark to see in anyway and therefore use their whiskers much more so than their eyes.

This is Medusa and boy is she feisty!

What, you may inquire, is she doing in this picture and why is her face all scrunched up? Why, she is biting the towel and GROWLING! That's right....I said GROWLING! I was told that this is what they do when they catch fish and it happens quite often, but I haven't seen this spectacle AT ALL the whole time I have been volunteering there. I've gotta tell you, I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time!

Wondering about our little Sea Star? Well, she STILL has her long preemie fur!?!

Yes, I know it's a really bad photo of her. Saturday is "seal weighing day" and the ONLY way I could get a picture of her is when they hauled her out of the pool to weight her, as I hear she never hauls out on the platform anymore. But at least you can see her long fur...right? They are seriously wondering if she might be the first seal they ever release that still has her preemie fur, as the preemie seals usually shed it within 2 weeks of being brought in.

And last, but certainly not least, is Coral!

My good friend Allison, who, when it comes to animals, is one of the most caring people I have ever met, actually found her behind a huge piece of driftwood on South Beach! She called me, I called Wolf Hollow, they called the Stranding Network, and they brought her to Wolf Hollow. She was underweight, weighing in at a meager 17 pounds, and very dehydrated. She now is a healthy 25 pounds and doing great out in the big seal pools! Thanks Ali!

Okay, I hope you have had you fill of seals for the time being. I will post a separate... well...post about the other animals we have in at WH in the next few days. It is slowing down a LOT at WH, but I will try and do my best to be a bit more regular when it comes to posting...well...posts. Til next time...