KINGSTON, Wash. -- Ten-year-old Peri Anderson didn’t expect to have a baby seal climb aboard her paddle board, but she did exactly the right thing when it did.
"I had to climb onto another board," Anderson said as she was being honored by a wildlife group for making the right move this week during her class at Kingston Adventures.
Rehabilitators at the PAWS Wildlife Center said that because Anderson did not try to grab or touch the two-week-old seal, it has a good chance of making it back into the wild.
Wildlife groups constantly warn people who come across baby seals to leave them alone. The mother is usually nearby and human contact can be deadly.
In this case, the seal jumped aboard Anderson’s board and she got out of the way onto a classmate’s board.
West Sound Wildlife Shelter workers were so impressed that they traveled to Kingston to honor Anderson, her classmates and instructors for doing the right thing..
Rehabilitators at PAWS said that if all goes well the baby seal could be fattened up and returned to the wild by later this summer.
For more information on what to do if you encounter a baby seal, you are urged to contact the Northwest Marine Mammal Stranding Network through NOAA Fisheries' website or call the Northwest stranding hotline at 1-800 853-1964.