Blog: Carlita the Croc

Sea Lion Saga Continues

Sea Lion Saga Continues…

When we left off, we had an overview of the time Mark and Mairim spent rehabilitating stranded sea lion pups off the coast of California.  I’m back to share more details as to what it means to “rescue” and “rehabilitate” an animal!

First comes the rescue…

To start, let’s talk about the role of the folks who rescue the animals.  Mark tells us that it is usually animal control, or other approved organizations or individuals who are authorized to take wild animals from their homes.  “There’s a guy that started a wildlife rescue operation out of a trailer that he bought, and he got approval to set up on a beach.  Sometimes [the] public will bring animals in, which is not recommended. These animals have diseases, they have teeth, they have a heavy parasite load.  There’s things in place and professionals that do take care of them [and] they should notify those places.” 

Then comes the rehab…

Next, the designated rescuers take the sickly little pups to a rehabilitation center where they get them healthy, do a physical on the way out, and then assist in releasing.  At these centers, such as the one Mairim and Mark volunteered at, the pups are in various stages of recovery.  Mark describes the set-up:  “They have these giant pens that have twenty or more animals that need to be tube fed, so there are all the little ones. I guess emotionally it was up and down seeing these little scrawny pups come in in really bad shape.  Then you go to the other side of the facility and you got the big giant plump ones that have been there for three plus months, and have gotten their fat stores back up and they’re playing in the pool with each other.  Just to see the difference…it’s pretty cool.”

Last is the release…

As Mairim described in the last post, the pups are assessed as to whether or not they can dive to forage and be competitive in their natural environment before they can be released.!  But the amount of time it takes for that to happen can vary.  ”It depends on what condition they come in.  It depends on the individual animal.”

Apparently there is a lot more involved in rescuing and rehabilitating an animal than my idea of cuddling it ‘til it’s all better.

But wait, there’s more! Mairim and Mark have more to share yet!  Check back to see what a day in the life of a rehabber looks like, and how you can help sea lions and other wildlife!

Posted: 8/5/2015 4:14:36 PM by Steve Pine

Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.


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