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Covering 160 miles of Oregon coast travel: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.

Summer Cometh: Are you ready?

New Seal Born to Aquarium on N. Oregon Coast

(Seaside, Oregon) – Monday has been a day of remarkable natural wonders on the north Oregon coast, with a new seal pup born to the Seaside Aquarium and a bear near Cannon Beach amusing drivers on Highway 101 (and bemusing authorities).

The Oregon coast landmark Seaside Aquarium is experiencing the joys of motherhood again – as a seal pup was born there in the early hours of the morning, sometime before 5 a.m. on Monday.

Manager Keith Chandler said the little one is approximately ten pounds, “long but skinny,” and about 26 inches long. He has not yet been able to determine the sex of the pup because seal mothers are aggressively protective for weeks after the birth of their young.

“It happened somewhere in the middle of the night, sometime before 5 a.m., because that’s when I got here,” Chandler said. “We hope to have it in public view in the next day or so, but for now we have her and the pup by themselves, so they can spend time together. When we get them out in public view, we should be able to check them out more closely and be able to tell what sex the pup is.”

Seals at the Seaside Aquarium have typically given birth in the middle of the night, because that’s when they’re more relaxed.

Chandler said that with two seals pregnant, they’ve been expecting at least one seal pup birth this week. But seal mothers don’t give many signals that they’re going into labor, so aquarium staff didn’t notice anything different when they left Sunday night. “They’ll start acting a little differently and go off and be by themselves,” Chandler said. “But other than that, no, they don’t give signs. But a new pup is the first thing we’ve been checking for when we show up in the mornings.”

The father of the pup, Drexler, is old now and it’s expected this will be his last mating season he’ll live through. Still, aquarium staff have to keep him away from the female seals throughout the rest of the mating season, because once the second pup is born, Seaside Aquarium will be out of room and can’t take any more newborns.

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“If he sees the baby seal, he’ll get real aggressive and start thinking about mating,” Chandler said. “And we can’t have any more seals. So he’s off by himself most of the time right now. We throw in another young male to give him someone to talk to every once in a while, though.”

Chandler bemoaned the inconvenient convergence of various aspects of a seal’s life all in one season. “They’re molting, they’re mating, they’re pupping – all during the busy tourist season,” Chandler said. “But what can you do? I don’t design them.”

Meanwhile, authorities in Cannon Beach Monday kept a close eye on a small black bear that was feasting on foliage right along Highway 101. The bear dined there for about two hours, and didn’t seem to mind gawkers and traffic along the road – or the sheriff vehicle parked a ways away to keep an eye on things. He eventually left on his own.

The Seaside Aquarium and Haystack Awareness Program are letting the public name the new seal. For $1, you can enter your name choice it the raffle. A winner will be chosen on Friday, June 9 at 2 p.m. You can enter more than once, and you need not be present to win. The proceeds go to support the Haystack program, which educates the public on the marine environment of Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock.

Seaside Aquarium is on the Prom in Seaside. www.seasideaquarium.com. 503-738-6211.


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In Awe of AstoriaASTORIA
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
Serenity in SeasideSEASIDE
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
Cavort in Cannon BeachCANNON BEACH
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
Annihilating  Beauty of Nehalem BayNEHALEM BAY
Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Time Trip Around Tillamook BayTILLAMOOK BAY
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
Triple the Pleasure in 3 CapesTHREE CAPES LOOP
The hidden secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
Miles & miles of unbroken beaches, Cascade Head, Neskowin and many manmade attractions
Divine Depoe BayDEPOE BAY
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Nature in NewportNEWPORT
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Staggering Seal RockWALDPORT / SEAL ROCK
Pristine, even secretive sands and wild geologic landmarks
Aargh, there's no alliteration with Yachats - but it IS unbelievableYACHATS
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged & upscale
Unsurpassable Upper LaneUPPER LANE COUNTY
25 miles of deserted beaches & oodles of wonders
Fine Times in FlorenceFLORENCE
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy dunes