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Experts Search for Fur Seal on N. Oregon Coast with Rope Stuck Around Neck

Published 01/23/2019 at 5:53 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Experts Search for Fur Seal on N. Oregon Coast with Rope Stuck Around Neck

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(Seaside, Oregon) – A Guadalupe fur seal is in some trouble on the north Oregon coast, and nature experts are anxious to find him. Crew from the Seaside Aquarium wrestled with him Wednesday morning trying to get a rope off his neck, but to no avail. (Photos Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium).

“We are on the lookout for a run-away fur seal,” said the aquarium's Tiffanty Boothe. “This morning we responded to this fur seal with rope around its neck on the south end of Seaside beach. We were hoping to capture the little guy and remove the rope. Unfortunately, he was quite spry and swam away as soon as we approached.”

If you seem him call the aquarium at 503-738-6211.

You can see the rope is causing severe red areas and even wounds beneath the creature's fur.

It's the second such seal in this kind of situation in recent weeks. Another Guadalupe fur seal was videoed on the Washington coast getting extricated from a series of ropes by local police.

Manager Keith Chandler said the little guy arrived at the cove, and then reports came in of it having a rope around its neck.

“It's not a healthy situation,” Chandler said. “The rope just kind'a digs in more the longer it's there. He's a very active animal. We went to catch it to hopefully get the rope off of him, but we couldn't catch him.

“He was really active; really biting at us. By the time we got him corralled he was in two feet of water, and then he got away. The last time I saw him he was about the tenth wave, looking back at us, saying all sorts of wonderful, wonderful things.”

Chandler jokingly equated it to getting the finger from his flippers.

Now, north Oregon coast authorities – especially the Seaside Aquarium – are desperate to find him again.

There's no imminent threat of death to the creature, and Chandler said the rope is not likely to choke him. The fur seal is only about a year old so he still has growing to do, and this is already quite uncomfortable. You can see it digging into the skin.

Infection from that aspect is not too likely either, Chandler said. But the rope still needs to come off.

“It's been on him a long, long time,” Chandler said. “The longer it's there it grows tighter and tighter. It's not a good situation. It's not life threatening, but it's certainly not comfortable for him. I'm sure he'd rather have it off.

“Eventually it will have a much bigger impact. I've seen animals with rope on for a much longer time and much worse than this, though.”

Chandler said it's not a big animal so there's still lots of growing to be done, and that will be a problem as the seal's body mass begins to grow around it.

Guadalupe fur seals tend to get into this kind of trouble on the Oregon coast, Chandler said. While other seals and sea lions don't. He believes they're rather curious and perhaps like to play with objects in the ocean. More photos of the fur seal below.

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Below: the Cove area of Seaside, where the seal was found


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