Northern elephant seal Raya was spotted on the beach all alone and looking much too skinny. Sadly, this tiny pup was so young that she was still sporting her blackcoat, or baby fur, which elephant seals shed once they’ve weaned from their mother. Strong storms that are linked to climate change can sweep young pups off the beach before they have weaned from their mothers or learned how to survive on their own.
Raya was our first elephant seal patient of the 2023 season and was named after a longtime volunteer who passed away and dearly loved elephant seal pups. Thankfully, she had the food and care she needed to grow strong. Our trained volunteers tube-fed Raya nutritious “fish smoothies” and eventually taught her how to catch and eat fish on her own.
After eight months of care—the longest stay for an elephant seal pup in several decades—Raya gained a healthy amount of weight. She showed our experts that she had learned the skills to thrive in the wild and was released back to her ocean home.
Thank you for your generous donation and for making a difference in the life of a marine mammal like Raya.
This is an exclusive digital-only Adopt-a-Seal®. When you adopt this patient, you’ll automatically be able to download your adoption certificate, which shares this patient's photo and story.
Download your digital Adopt-a-Seal® today!
Please note that this is a non-customizable, download-only certificate.