Alaska SeaLife Center news

Posted: Monday, June 11, 2001

Pack of pups

The Steller sea lions are beginning to give birth at the Chiswell Island rookery, 35 miles south of Seward. The new pups can be seen at the Chiswell Island kiosk at the center or on channel 20. To date, there are eight pups, and researchers say the count will change daily.

Murres find a new home

After six months of negotiating with state, federal and Dutch agencies, filing and refiling permits and other relevant documents, making travel arrangements and much more, eight common murres that once were inhabitants of the center aviary are now at the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands.

Center veterinarian Dr. Pam Tuomi made the marathon trek with the birds. Word from the Netherlands is that the murres are eating and looking well. Once they are out of quarantine, they will be introduced to the rest of the seabird colony on exhibit.

More bird news

The puffins in the sea bird habitat are pairing off and getting into nesting mode. One egg is at the center. Nest box number 30, puffins numbers 3 and 13 are with egg. The center will be 'ultrasounding' the egg in about a week to determine if it is fertile. The puffin should make its appearance in mid-July.

Rehab news

In the rehabilitation area, harbor seal Pancho and ringed seal Sadie are doing well and have been feeding on fish as they get ready for release this summer. Pancho is not eating fish that are hand-fed to him, but he will soon be learning to catch fish in the water. Sadie and Pancho have been spending some time together so they can learn socialization and competitive foraging skills.

The center has a new harbor seal joining Sadie and Pancho in rehab. Lolita is the female harbor seal from Drift River. Oil workers found her above the high tide mark south of Drift River. Lolita was taken to the center where she was given fluids and antibiotics. She is now rehydrated, stable and doing well. Hopes are for Pancho and Lolita to be housed and possibly released as a pair.

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