Summary: Marine Mammal Stranding Protocol
1- Do NOT Touch!
1. Do not touch, pick up, or feed the animal. They are wild animals, and can bite. They also are
easily stressed by humans. Do not return the animal to the water. Seals and sea lions
temporarily "haul out" on land to rest. Harbor seal mothers often leave their pups ashore while
they're feeding at sea. A beached whale, dolphin, or porpoise should be reported immediately.
Observe the animal from a distance of at least 50 feet. Keep people and dogs away.
Note physical characteristics such as size, presence of external earflaps, and fur color. This helps
volunteers determine the species and what rescue equipment and volunteers are needed.
4- Note Condition
Note the animal's condition. Is it weak and underweight? Are there any open wounds?
Does the animal have any obvious identification tags or markings?
Determine the exact location of the animal, in order to provide accurate directions. Volunteers
cannot rescue an animal if they cannot find it!
In Whatcom County