What began as a hike at Torrey Pine State Reserve, ended up as a rescue effort. My friend and I were walking down the beach when we noticed a cute sea lion climbing on the rocks. Of course wanting to take a picture of its cuteness, we got closer. As we etched closer to the pup, I noticed that it had something was wrapped around her neck. Looking more closely, it was a fishing line wrapped tightly cutting off air and had sliced the back of her neck. The flesh was exposed and she couldn't really breath. Another group nearby and us acted fast, calling for help. We reached Sea World rescue team, they said they would be there in 30 minutes. That was at 11:39a. We waited 40 minutes, then 50 minutes, no Sea World rescue team. An hour went by and we were losing time. The little guy clearly couldn’t get a good breath, was weak and coughed a few times. The sea lion pup kept looking at me to help. During this time and through out the rescue, I communicated with the animal, making sure she knew she wasn't going to be left alone, that we were there to help her and we would stay till she got help. Getting more anxious I called Sea World again, now it was 12:30p, the women on the phone said that “They were busy working with the in house animals and had to finish in house work before arriving”. I shared, that the sea lion was dying and needed to be rescued right now. She then shared, “They just left 20 minutes ago and should be there in 30 minutes or so”. So we all waited, a total of 2 hours at least for the pup to be rescued. Meanwhile, she was drying in the sun, uncomfortable trying to catch her breath and flies were swarming on his flesh exposed. It was now 1p, no Sea World rescue in site and time was running out. Finally about 20 minutes later, we see the two trucks driving down, the life guard and Sea World Rescue. They arrived and began to approach the animal. They grabbed the sea lion to avoid being bit, then put him in the net to secure he wouldn't jump in the water or escape. Once in the net, they cut the cord around his neck. The little pup began to breath and you could see it in its face how happy she was. I asked Sea World if they would release her into the wild after they help her, they told me to call this number 1-800-541-SEAL (7325) to check up on her. I thought I post this amazing story and also to bring more awareness. I plan on calling them to check up on the little guy. If you are interested too, you can call them and ask about the sea lion found on Sunday 4/27/2014 at Torrey Pines Reserve. Please do not hesitate to share this story and bring awareness.
I called Sea World Rescue this morning and the sea lion is doing better. Shirley shared that the veterinarian evaluated her, cleaned the wounds, administered antibiotics, provided fluids and have put her on a gruel formula through ST tube.
The sea lion is not eating fish yet and it takes about a week or so for them to accept food. However, they will attempt to give the sea lion fish 3-4x/day to get the pup to accept the food. She shared that they will release the sea lion into the wild after 6 to 8 weeks; but before that, they will tag the front flipper in case the pup gets re-stranded that they could identify it.
I talked to Courtney at Sea World today and we had good news!! She was released into the wild on 6/5/14 near Coronado Island. She doubled her weight from the first day of 10 kg to 24 kg, was back to a healthy state and ready to conquer wild fish! During her stay, she ate plenty of food and recovered nicely. Very grateful to hear this news and the sea lion being released. Happy to be this sea lions "adopted" mother for 8 weeks, checking up on her ;)