The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) has taken in its first stranded seal of 2018.

Bystanders first saw the male ringed seal lying on a rusty pipe on the Dutch Harbor shore. 

Alaska Sea Grant Agent and Unalaska resident, Melissa Good, was called to the scene and said, "When I approach an animal and it does not respond, that is the first indication something is very wrong."

The seal had a balding coat and was underweight and lethargic when he was rescued and transported to the ASLC on March 11.

After a thorough exam, veterinarians found he had lung worm, parasites, liver issues, a high white cell count, and an irregular molt.

Despite the seal's poor condition, ASLC staff are optimistic about his recovery.

ASLC veterinarian, Dr. Kathy Woodie said, “Although this seal has a laundry list of health issues, his feisty demeanor shows promise.”

The animal is non-releasable because of a National Marine Fisheries Service policy.

Ribbon, bearded, spotted, and ringed seals are considered non-releasable in Alaska due to consideration of subsistence hunters.

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