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Baby Seal Swims Up Seaside River, Charms N. Oregon Coast Visitors; Video

Published 07/19/020 at 5:54 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Baby Seal Swims Up Seaside River, Charms N. Oregon Coast Visitors; Video

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(Seaside, Oregon) – The north Oregon coast hotspot of Seaside had one adorable critter wander through its downtown waterways early Sunday morning and charm the heck out of visitors. (All photos and video courtesy Seaside Aquarium's Tiffany Boothe).

Seaside Aquarium’s Tiffany Boothe said a baby harbor seal swam its way up the Necanicum River and settled in the downtown area at the whimsical watercraft rental docks. There, it made a “splash” with people moving around the dockside stretches and delighting everyone with its antics.

“We had a special little visitor this morning down at Quatat Park,” Boothe said. “Worried that the little guy needed some help, people watching him swim around alerted the aquarium. We responded to the call and luckily the little guy is doing just fine. This is the time of year when little pups begin their journeys on their own.”

Heading up the estuary is not uncommon for them at this stage in their young life, but getting up this far is unique, Boothe said. The little one also seemed to make use of the goofy boats.

“The estuary is a great place for them to learn to hunt fish and crab and apparently catch a ride on a jet ski or a swan,” she said.

Special visitor wanted to catch a ride on a jet ski.

We had a special little visitor this morning down at Quatat Park. Worried that the little guy needed some help, people watching him swim around alerted the aquarium. We responded to the call and luckily the little guy is doing just fine. This is the time of year when little pups begin their journeys on their own. The estuary is a great place for them to learn to hunt fish and crab and appartley catch a ride on a jet ski or a swan.

Posted by Seaside Aquarium on Sunday, July 19, 2020

The baby harbor seal was not in any distress and needed no help.

“He didn't need any assistance from us,” Boothe said. “He was doing just fine on his own. We watched him show off and be cute for a while before heading off. The boat retails were not open yet so the only people around were up on the bridge. He was very alert and aware of everything going on. When people up on the bridge moved suddenly he would duck back into the water and go for a little swim.”

The whole incident had the word “cute” stamped all over it.

“Once the boat rentals opened up he went on his merry way,” she said. “Luckily for him there are plenty of perch in the estuary, which will help him keep his chubby little figure and a lot of places to haul out and rest (besides the back of the jet ski).”


Seaside isn’t normally a place where you can spot wild seals, though the Seaside Aquarium has plenty you can see up close and feed. They do adorable, wacky tricks to coax food out of the public, and each one has its own schtick.

There are other places along the Oregon coast where you can catch sight of the creatures in the wild – just make sure you stay far away from the. Approaching them is illegal as well.

Currently, you can spot plenty of seals and sea lions from a safe distance at Cape Arago and Shore Acres State Park on the south coast. According to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), you can also see them in bays lounging on piers, tideflats, or sandbars, and these animals can be entertaining to watch. Other good locations for viewing include the South Jetty of the Columbia River, sandbars in Netarts Bay, near the mouth of the Siletz River in Lincoln City, Yaquina Bay between the jetties and along the bayfront, and even Oceanside’s Three Arch Rocks (though you’ll need binoculars). More photos at bottom.

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