Experts from Sausalito, California’s Marine Mammal Center collaborated with the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department today to extricate an injured California sea lion from Mendocino’s Portuguese Beach. Marine Mammal Center spokesmen Giancarlo Rulli said the sea lion is currently being transported to Sausalito suffering “multiple facial injuries” and will be examined tomorrow “to determine age class, sex, overall condition, examine its facial injuries and check for any other health abnormalities.”
Rulli told us the Marine Mammal Center was initially informed of the injured sea lion yesterday evening and was found in the same location this morning.
The bluffs proved too steep for rescue vehicles brought by the trained responders so the Marine Mammal Center reached out to the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department to provide support. “The Fire Department assisted our experts in the rescue by utilizing extraction gear to safely hoist the large metal rescue carrier with the sea lion secured inside from the beach,” explained Rulli.
Associate Director of the Field Operations and Response Program at The Marine Mammal Center Ryan Berger said, “This was both a unique and challenging rescue situation for this injured California sea lion that required medical attention.” He added, “Our team is grateful to our partners at the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department for their assistance in this response to help give this animal a second chance at life.”
Rulli provided the following best practices to beach-goers when navigating sea-faring animals:
As Mendocino County sees increased crowds to its beautiful coast and beaches, The Marine Mammal Center would like to remind the public that they play an important role in the conservation of marine mammals along the central coast by keeping these marine wildlife viewing tips in mind:
- Keep A Safe Distance. Whether on the water viewing marine life or walking with your pet on local beaches, a great wildlife viewing experience starts with keeping your distance and keeping pets on leash.
- Use Your Zoom. It’s ok to take photos and admire the animals, but if you’re so close that you’re not using your zoom or they’re reacting to you, then you’re too close. No SEAL-FIES please!
- Call Us. If you see a seal or sea lion in distress, call The Marine Mammal Center’s rescue hotline at 415-289-SEAL (7325). The Center will monitor the animal and, if necessary, send a trained responder to rescue it safely.