The Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates and releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education and collaboration.
Why 3 Thirty Wants to Support PMMC?
Sea lions have been showing up in unlikely places in California. Some animals have been found cowering under lifeguard towers or the parked cars of beach goers, others crossing busy streets and wondering through business districts. These animals are predominantly 8-9 month old California sea lion pups that are showing signs of severe weakness and malnourishment.
What Is Making Sea Lions Sick?
Scientists do not yet know the cause of these strandings, but many believe that there may be a link to the food chain. These animals are not only emaciated, they are severely underweight for their age. Some of them are weighing in at just 25-30lbs, only about half of what is expected for a 9-month old pup. It is not uncommon for mothers to nurse their young for up to a year of age or beyond. There is suspicion among the scientific community that a shift or depletion in local prey populations may be forcing mothers to swim further out to sea in search of food. Thus, these young sea lions are being forced to wean early from their mothers without the adequate energy stores required to obtain food on their own.
What PMMC Does
Unlike whales and dolphins, seals and sea lions don’t have to remain in water in order to survive. The animals beach themselves to be warm and dry when feeling ill. They seek rest on land for a variety of reasons and are not always in need of intervention. Our staff is trained to recognize animals suffering from infections, malnourishment, pneumonia, gill net strangulation, etc. which can harm an animal’s chance for survival.
When a “patient” is admitted, our staff performs all necessary procedures under the direction and protocols set by the Animal Care Director and our Veterinary Medical Director. During the course of rehabilitation, animals require a variety of treatments such as administration of antibiotics and subcutaneous fluids, tube feeding, force feeding, wound care, etc.
Most animals come in dehydrated and the most effective means to provide fluids and nourishment is through tube feeding. The process requires blending of fish, electrolytes, warm water, vitamins, and medication into a fish formula. This formula is fed to the animals by inserting a flexible tube into the stomach using large syringes. As soon as the animals are hydrated and stable, we wean them to eat whole fish.
Once an animal has gained an optimal weight and is competing for food, it’s ready for release. Prior to release, each animal is tagged with an identification number. The color-coded tags indicate the animal has been rehabilitated and helps identify the specific animal and care center in case the animal needs care in the future. We strive to return every one of our patients back to the wild once their care with us is complete.
An important part of marine mammal recovery is ongoing research. Research is being done to find the pathological conditions that affect the marine mammals of Southern California. Only through this research are we able to discover the cause-effect relationships that can help us to understand the best means to rehabilitate our marine mammal patients
How You Can Help
1. Shop at our online store and select Animal Cause
Why? Every purchase made during the month of March will help support the symbolically adoption of patients and support the recover process to assist the rehabilitated pup being returned to the wild*
2. Share the cause with others! (use the above share buttons).
3. Consider donating the following PMMC Wish List items:
- Dawn liquid soap
WHITE OFFICE PAPER (RECYCLED PREFERRED)
Biodegradable garbage bags
Amazon, Staples or Office Max Gift cards
*Adoption fees also go towards veterinary research and educating the public on marine mammals and the protection of the ocean environment. Adopt a marine mammal today and make the difference in the lives of our patients!