March 28th, 2016 (Ruben Vives). A 9 -month-old female northern fur seal that was released to the ocean earlier this month was rescued a second time after it became lost on its way to Alaska, according to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.
The seal, nicknamed Kumofur, was discovered in the front yard of a home Thursday morning in Freemont, Calif., according to the Fremont Police Department.
Police said the seal did not have visible injuries. An animal service officer wrapped the pup with a towel and took it to the Tri-City Animal Shelter before alerting officials at the Marine Mammal Center.
Earlier this month, marine biologists released the pup into the ocean in Bodega Bay after the malnourished seal was nursed back to health, according to Laura Sherr, a spokeswoman with the center.
She said the pup, which the center nicknamed Kumofur, was rescued in November at New Brighton State Beach in Capitola.
Marine biologists don’t know for sure what led Kumofur to become lost this time around but they suspect the pup may have made a wrong turn while searching for food.
They say northern fur seals are the latest marine mammal species to fall victim to abnormally warm ocean waters and a lack of food sources. They say the number of northern fur seals they have admitted to the center has increased.
In normal years, the center admits about five northern fur seals. In November 2006, 33 fur seals were admitted to the center and in November they had admitted about 80. They fear the numbers will continue to grow.
The animal will be released once it gains enough weight to return to the ocean, according to officials.