Rare Arctic ribbon seal observed near Surfside

A species from the high Arctic, a ribbon seal, was photographed Tuesday morning on the beach near Surfside. The Puget Sound-based Orca Network, which keeps track of marine mammal sightings in general in our region, said “A very interesting sighting from NOAA Fisheries! We had another beautiful ribbon seal visit Washington State in 2012, but it is a very rare treat for sure.” According to NOAA's report, “On the morning of August 16th a ribbon seal hauled out approximately 1 mile north of Oysterville Road on the Long Beach Peninsula. The ribbon seal appeared to be in good condition and went back into the water. This information and attached photos was shared with WDFW Marine Mammal Investigations and Portland State University last night by William Ritchie a Refuge Biologist with the USFWS in Ilwaco, Washington.” Please drop the Chinook Observer a note if you have other sightings to report of this animal. It is important to maintain a distance of at least 100 yards from marine mammals on the beach.

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