Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
ALASKA PENINSULA/BECHAROF: Staff Assists in Release of Cupcake and Starburst
Alaska Region, September 28, 2009
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---- - Photo Credit: n/a
Bristol Bay student assists with release
Bristol Bay student assists with release - Photo Credit: n/a

On September 22, staff from Alaska Peninsula/Becharof National Wildlife Refuge coordinated a harbor seal release in Naknek with the Alaska SeaLife Center Rescue and Rehabilitation staff from Seward.  The two harbor seal pups, Cupcake and Starburst, were found abandoned last summer on the shores of Egegik, a small village 50 miles south of Naknek.  After the rescue, they were flown by Peninsula Airways to Anchorage then to the Seward SeaLife Center for treatment and rehabilitation.

On the morning of the  22nd , the rehabilitated pups were brought to King Salmon by Veterinary Technician Tim Lebling and his assistant Christy Phillips via Peninsula Airways.  Ranger Lind assisted with transport and set up an education program at Bristol Bay School for students to view the seals and ask questions.  Mr. Lebling taught the students about the tracking devices on both Cupcake and Starburst and how students could track the seals by using their computers as the pups venture out into the waters of Bristol Bay.

With eager students awaiting the release, Tim ready with the camera and Christy along with two Bristol Bay students to help release the seal pups, the countdown began.  With kennel doors opened, Cupcake eagerly ventured to the chilly waters of Bristol Bay with Starburst close behind. 

Mr. Lebling and Christy also visited several classrooms at the Bristol Bay School on the 23rd and taught about what to do when stranded or injured marine animals are found.

Alaska Peninsula/Becharof NWR staff would like to thank the Alaska SeaLife Center staff, Bristol Bay School District teachers and Peninsula Airways for all their support in conservation effort.


Contact Info: Orville Lind, (907) 246-1202, orville_lind@fws.gov
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