Update, May 12, 2023, 3:32 pm – On Saturday, May 13, 2023, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will be moving the seal to a more suitable location for the animal to rest out their moulting with less disturbance.
Please provide space for the team to complete this work which will likely be completed between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Update, May 12, 2023, 10:02 a.m. – Fencing to provide a safe distance between the seal and the public is in place at Whiffin Spit and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is monitoring the animal. Please continue to give the seal space and keep dogs on leash.
Again, while the park remains open, the public is encouraged to access Sooke’s alternative waterfront areas, including Ella Beach, Billing Spit and the Sooke Marine Boardwalk given the animal’s current location at the park entrance.
Friday, May 12, 2023, 8:50 a.m. – A seal is ashore at Whiffin Spit to moult. Public assistance is needed to give the animal space and keep dogs on leashes as we co-exist with our wildlife.
Seals may spend one month a year on the land to undergo a “catastrophic moult”—a process in which they shed all fur and the underlying layer of skin.
Please use caution, keep dogs away and give the seal space. Given the animal’s location, currently at the trailhead, the park may need to be closed for a short period. At this time, the park remains open.
While Whiffin Spit remains open, the public is encouraged to access Sooke’s alternative waterfront areas, including Ella Beach, Billing Spit and the Sooke Marine Boardwalk.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans advises, “Though it may look slow and harmless, the seal can move very quickly and could be dangerous if it feels threatened.”
District of Sooke Parks and Environmental Services, along with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are meeting on site to determine the next steps. An update will be shared – once available.