A rare Guadalupe fur seal pup was rescued on Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast by Seaside Aquarium staffers Friday.
Someone called the aquarium at about 9 a.m. to report an abandoned seal pup spotted on the south end of Cannon Beach.
The male pup, described as thin and dehydrated, received fluids and, after a “brief nap” at the aquarium, was transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Des Moines. According to the aquarium, the pup eventually will be transferred to another rehabilitation facility in California. If all goes well, the seal will be released.
It is rare to spot a Guadalupe fur seal along the Oregon coast, according to the aquarium. The species, with an estimated population of 34,000, is native to the Pacific Ocean waters of northern Mexico and southern California.
Young fur seals are known to travel long distances following warm offshore currents and can become cold-shocked by ocean temperatures along Oregon and Washington coastlines. That can lead to them becoming stranded along the Oregon coast, according to the aquarium.
Throughout the 1800s the species was hunted to near extinction for their thick layer of fine fur. Since the 1950s, the species has been protected by United States and Mexico law and is protected under the Endangered Species act and Marine Mammal Protection Act.