Subantartica Seal rescued on dog beach
May 2017 Antoni and I attended a marine mammal rescue course through a non for profit organization called ORRCA. The day was in Rockingham and very informative with hands on experience with what to do if a marine mammal were to wash up on the beaches and how to deal with the situation.
Almost exactly 2 months later we got a text. A seal of some kind had been found on the beach just south of Fremantle and if anyone was nearby could they go have a look. Funnily enough, we were in Bunnings at the time, collecting materials we needed if we were to get such a call. With bucket in hand, Kate dropped the bucket (literally) and we raced off to see what we could find. Sure enough on the beach, being looked after by a lovely kind lady we found a seal (of some description). We called ORRCA and assured them we had arrived and found the animal and the lady left leaving us to deal with the animal.
Typically the animal had been washed up on a dog beach of all places and we sprung into action, asking the public to keep their dogs on leads and away and to make sure people didn’t come too close and that they were quiet as to not stress the little creature.
Antoni flicked through the book ORRCA had given us to see if he could identify it. Notes were taken about the heart rate best we could and we found out it was a Subantarctic fur seal. Not from around the waters of Perth but down south in a much colder place on some islands off Antarctica. We sat on the beach looking at the gorgeous little thing (who didn’t want us to know his or her sex) and kept monitoring it for quite a few hours. We were joined by other ORRCA members Andy and Sal who had much more experience than either of us and gave us plenty of information about them and ways to identify them. By late afternoon a lady from Parks and Wildlife joined us and barricaded the area and we crossed our fingers in hope that by nightfall the little seal would head back to sea in search for a good meal.
It was our first marine mammal intervention and most likely not our last. We met a very cute Subantarctic fur seal that day…the very first one we’ve ever seen.
If you find a wild marine mamal on the beach, don’t touch it and don’t try to feed it. Call the Rangers and give transfer the postion through the GPS.