March 8, 2011

Happy Endings . . .

On January 9th my husband and I spotted a sea lion on Doran Beach. I've observed that typically a sea lion will not 'haul out' if there are people near by unless it's in some sort of distress. There were a couple dozen people on the beach that day and some with unleashed dogs. We stationed ourselves close by and asked people to leash their dogs and give a wide berth to the seal until help came. 

I contacted the Marine Mammal Center in Marin. The Center has volunteers along the Sonoma Coast that are on call to assist an animal in distress and make a judgment call on whether or not the animal should be hospitalized at the Center in Marin. As we've experienced in the past, help came quick and the sea lion was loaded into a large dog crate for his trip down to the Marine Mammal Center.

While I was out for my beach walk this afternoon, I received a call from 'Katie' at the Marine Mammal Center. She called to tell me that the sea lion I reported 'in distress' back in January had been released. 'Olga Gret' was released at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, on March 4, 2011. 'Olga', a 160 pound juvenile male California Sea Lion was suffering from leptospirosis, a bacterial infection. The Center cared for him for nearly two months before he was healthy enough to be returned back into the ocean. 

Information about the Marine Mammal Center from their website:

The Marine Mammal Center (formerly known as The California Marine Mammal Center) was founded in 1975 by three local citizens: Lloyd Smalley, Pat Arrigoni and Paul Maxwell. Since then, and thanks to their vision, the Center has rescued and treated more than 16,000 marine mammals.

To learn more about the Marine Mammal Center and the fabulous work they do, CLICK HERE.


  1. Lepto is a bateria found in animal urine, primarily rodents and it is highly contagious. Dogs must get vaccinated against it annually to prevent getting ill and dying. I'm so glad that this seal was saved. People must vaccinate their pets (and clean up after them) if they are going to allow them to run on the beach. Pets can carry Lepto and spead it if they are not vaccinated. Also, the garbarge that humans leave behind is always "fair game" for the rodent population and this spreads and can cause serious harm. People need to become responsible.

  2. Good points Evie, thank you!!

  3. Great story! I clicked over from Beth's blog. (I'm the one who suggested she visit the Center.) When I visited the Center, I was impressed to hear about how they use citizen calls and a network of volunteers to identify and rescue distressed animals. It's really neat to hear a first-person account of one sea lion's story!

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  5. Thank you Katie! Great suggestion to a great organization!


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!