In February, we followed the story of a malnourished and dehydrated sea lion found in a La Jolla restaurant booth. We’re thrilled to bring you a great update on the young female, now called Marina.
SeaWorld San Diego’s animal rescue team stepped in to render aid to this animal in distress the morning she was discovered. During initial intake, it was noted that the micro pup’s left eye was swollen shut and she was half the weight she should be. The team was cautiously optimistic that she would fully recover.
After two months of rehabilitation and care, the team’s optimism and hard work has paid off. Marina received a clear bill of health and was released back to her ocean home. During her two month hospital stay, Marina was given fluids and nutrition, leading to a weight gain of 25 pounds. Her eye injury has healed and she demonstrated her ability to forage for food on her own, making her eligible for return.
Due to El Nino and an ongoing unusual mortality event (UME) with California sea lions, Marina was not alone in her release. Eight other sea lions were also returned after rehabilitation. A high volume of marine mammal stranding continues as over 300 have required rescue so far this year.
TIP: If you see an animal who appears stranded, ill, or injured, do not approach or touch them. Injured or sick animals are likely to be distressed and fearful. Keep a safe distance and avoid loud noises and sudden movements. Call SeaWorld’s rescue hotline at (800) 541-SEAL (7325).
Accredited zoological facilities are the best resource for wild animals in distress. Marina was a lucky pup, but she is a reminder that there are countless animals in need of help as the conditions of our planet continue to change. SeaWorld and other accredited rescue facilities are not only able to rescue, rehabilitate, and provide a home for non-releasable animals, but are able to obtain invaluable data from these patients regarding their threats in the wild.
So long, and thanks for all the fish!