The juvenile elephant seal that a local girl has dubbed "Star

The juvenile elephant seal that a local girl has dubbed "Star

Port Townsend’s outgoing mammal won’t be ‘sealed’ off

PORT TOWNSEND — A juvenile elephant seal that arrived on a Port Townsend beach Friday continued to draw crowds Monday.

The seal, about 5 feet long and probably a male, crawled on the beach at the end of Adams Street.

He remained at that location until Sunday morning, when he moved to another beach south of Union Wharf.

The seal, which is undergoing an annual molt, has become a bona fide tourist attraction.

“It’s rare that a seal is in a place that is viewable by the public, giving people the opportunity to see something really special,” said Chrissy McLean, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center’s marine program coordinator.

The seal was dubbed Star by 11-year-old Ella Ashford of Port Townsend, who spent Friday answering questions about seals and their habits.

By Monday, the seal had returned to the Adams Street beach and was resting under a deck.

McLean cordoned off the area with yellow tape to give the seal some space, and within an hour of the tape’s installation, the seal crawled out under it onto the beach and back into the water for a dip.

“He may be moving around because he wants to get away from people,” or to keep cool, she said.

Volunteers will watch the area to discourage people from getting too close, McLean said.

“Ideally, we’d like people to stay 100 yards away, she said. “But that’s not practical here.

“We hope people get the message to stay far away from him, and make sure their dogs are leashed while in the area,” McLean said.

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

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