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SELAWIK: Pogo's Journey ? Wildlife Rehabilitation Through Partnership
10 Region, September 13, 2005
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In early August, a female ringed seal pup was released back to the wild four months after being orphaned on the ice near Kotzebue, Alaska. In April, a local resident contacted Tina Moran, wildlife biologist at the Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, and together they facilitated the seal's rescue and ensuing care. Pogo, as the seal was named, was cared for at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, growing from a thin, sickly pup into a robust young seal. Tina, along with Lindy Russell of the National Park Service, assisted Tim Lebling of the SeaLife Center in transporting the seal by chartered airplane to a gravel beach landing site in Cape Krusenstern National Monument. The morning was unusually calm as Pogo's kennel door opened and she headed straight into the ocean. Since her release, a satellite tag on Pogo has shown that she has traveled almost 600 miles northwest in slightly more than a week. She is already north of Wrangel Island in Russia. Following the release, Tim and Tina were interviewed on the local radio station and shared information on stranded marine mammals and the rehabilitation work done at the SeaLife Center. The partnership between residents, Refuge staff and the SeaLife Center continues to be instrumental in saving stranded marine mammals in Northwest Alaska.

Contact Info: Kevin Painter, , kevin_painter@fws.gov



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