Yes, you read that right. I was adopted by a harbor seal pup while guiding B&B guests on a kayak tour of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. How did this happen and what did I do about it? Well, read on:
Two days ago, I had a once in a lifetime, and somewhat heartbreaking, experience while drifting well offshore in Medicine Creek. Something bumped into the side of my boat and when I looked down to see what it was, I saw the plaintive face of the seal pup pictured here.
The pup yelped as if to say, “Help me!” and tried its best to get into my boat but its fins could not get a proper grip. It made eye contact with me and I sensed it was distressed. The experts say, leave the pup alone, so that’s what I tried to do. I paddled into shallow water, which got me away from the pup for a while only to have it bump into a guest’s boat ten minutes later and repeat the process. Thanks to those guests for the picture.
We paddled back to the inn with the pup matching our speed. It had evidently adopted my boat as its mother and tried to board the boat. When we reached shore a mile and a half later, the poor little pup hauled out of the water and tried to nurse from my grey rubber boot!
It was near sunset, the tide was about to ebb and the pup was obviously hungry. Should I feed it something? Should I guide it back to the refuge where other seals might adopt it? Stay tuned for more news on the pup who adopted the innkeeper.
Life is good here at Mallard Cove.