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Don Lewis, Massachusetts Audubon Society,
Fox Island Wildlife Management Area

Ailing Harp Seal, South Lieutenant Island — 11 March 2001

I returned to Lieutenant Island today to check up on the juvenile harp seal, which seemed a bit abnormal yesterday.  I found her washed up with the midday flood tide along the wrack line about 500 feet further to the west than Saturday.

She lay on her left side, almost on her back.  And, as I approached, I heard a chorus of gross sounds somewhat akin to the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles.  This lady was exploding gas, which may account for her excessive roly-poly appearance.

She was responsive but did not act with normal aggression.  She did not bark me away but tried to follow my movements with her eyes.

Her eyes remain filled along the edges with a foamy white substance which gives her a drowsy appearance.  The second healthy pup, which I found yesterday occupying Turtle Point hill, has moved on to greener, or perhaps snowier, pastures.  But I think this other one may be floating in and out with the tide.  I'll check on her again tomorrow and continue to report on her condition for the Mammal Stranding Network.