A baby harbor seal rescued in the Palo Alto Baylands in April has died.
Floodgate Dolly, a 5-week-old pup rescued by Palo Alto Animal Services died April 29 of an apparent lung infection, according to a preliminary report by the Marine Mammal Center.
He became a pinniped celebrity of sorts after being caught against the Mayfield Slough flood gate at high tide on April 9. He was the first harbor seal rescued in Palo Alto that has been cared for by the center since 1991, according to Jim Oswald, a spokesman for the center.
A passer-by heard the 14-pound pup's cries as the seal bobbed up and down near the concrete wall, its head periodically disappearing under the water.
"We had a concern about the way the baby was struggling," Palo Alto Animal Services Officer William Warrior said at the time. "We were worried about him possibly drowning."
Climbing down the flood gate, Warrior and another officer lifted the black-and-silver pup out of the bay water using a net and brought the seal to the Palo Alto office of Peninsula Humane Society's Wildlife Rescue Center. The pup was later transferred to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.
He was undernourished and dehydrated, and he weighed only half the normal weight for a pup his age, Oswald said after the seal arrived. The seal was tube-fed a "fish smoothie" and other nutrients and medicines.
Floodgate Dolly was given a female moniker because he was originally thought to be female. He probably came from Mowry Slough in Newark, one of a number of nearby spots where harbor seals gather in groups, Oswald said.