The first harbor seal pup born at La Jolla’s Children’s Pool prematurely Feb. 1 is faring well.
“It’s doing very well, putting on weight,” said Dave Koontz, Sea World spokesman, about the fate of the rescued marine mammal. We are continuing with 24-hour monitoring of the pup and feeding it continually.”
Koontz said the seal pup’s future remains uncertain. “It just depends on how this animal is rehabilitated,” he said, adding its release back into the ocean, if all goes well, is a primary goal.
Dorota Valli, a member of the Animal Protection and Rescue League’s Seal Watch Program, noted Children’s Pool pupping season typically starts in mid-February. Most pups born before that time die prematurely or get separated from their mothers and are washed out to sea.
“Last year we had 42 born at Children’s Pool,” she said, adding, “the mortality rate is very high - up to 30 percent.”
Valli added seals’ gestation period is about the same as humans - nine months. They nurse their young six to eight weeks.