Rehabilitated harbor seals head for the ocean

On Friday, two young harbor seals had an audience at False Outer Point as the seals made their way into the ocean for the first time since they were rescued in May.

The seals arrived on the beach in two large crates, greeted by the excited whispers of school kids. Dozens of children from around Juneau were on hand to bid the seals goodbye.

Olympia, a female harbor seal, was found in Haines in early May. The young pup was taken to the Alaska Sea Life Center where she joined Picabo, a seal pup rescued in Juneau. Both seals were born premature and were abandoned.

They spent three months at the SeaLife center recovering and learning how to fish.

The young seals were hesitant to leave their crates but eventually made their way down the beach. The crowd cheered as the two entered the water.

Dozens of children and their families line the beach waiting for the seals to be released. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

Olympia pauses at the water before diving in. Olympia is a female Harbor Seal that was rescued in Haines, Alaska in May. The young pup was premature and abandoned. She was rehabilitated at the Alaska SeaLife Center. She and another harbor seal, Picabo, were released into the wild in Juneau, Alaska on Aug. 14. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

Picabo is a young female harbor seal. She was rescued on the dock at Allen Marine in May. The young pup was born premature and was abandoned. Rehabilitated at the Alaska SeaLife Center, she was released back into the wild on Aug. 14 in Juneau. She wears a special satellite tracker so that the SeaLife Center can follow her whereabouts until she sheds the tracker. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

Children line the beach to watch the seals swim. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

Not quite ready to go, the shy seals headed back up the beach before being herded towards the water. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)