March 27, 2015
Since January of this year, the West Coast of the United States has been experiencing an unprecedented amount of California sea lion strandings. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a record-setting number of sea lion strandings has occurred each month in 2015.
The world’s largest marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation facility, The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, is a nonprofit veterinary research hospital and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals, and has played a vital role in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of a large majority of these malnourished, dehydrated, and ill pups. As a leading zoological facility focused on research and conservation, Georgia Aquarium was honored to recently have sent several animal care staff members to California to assist The Marine Mammal Center with caring for these little animals. Watch the video below to hear more about the amazing and collaborative efforts being done for these stranded pups:
We also had the chance to sit down for a Q&A session with just a few of the dedicated Georgia Aquarium team members who helped with the sea lion crisis at The Marine Mammal Center. Let us introduce you to Senior Trainers Bryan Martin, Erin Morlang and Kristi Thompson, and Life Support Systems Technician, Christopher Rogers:
Q1: What was the most memorable moment for you when assisting The Marine Mammal Center with the sea lion pup strandings?
Q2: What was it like seeing the animals you helped rescue and rehabilitate be released back into the ocean? Can you briefly describe that moment?
Q3: What did it personally mean to you to be able to participate in this collaborative and large rescue?
Q4: How did your skillset from working with animals in human care help you to better aid the stranded sea lion pups?
As stated earlier, Georgia Aquarium was honored to have been a part of such a collaborative and dedicated effort in rescue and rehabilitating these marine mammals. The devotion given by all at The Marine Mammal Center to save the pups is a great example of how like-minded organizations are working towards the same common goal of caring together for all animals, there in the wild as well as here in human care. View photos from Bryan, Erin and Kristi's time at The Marine Mammal Center:
How can you help?
The stranding season is not yet over and The Marine Mammal Center needs your continued support. Donate, adopt-a-seal or learn more at MarineMammalCenter.org. Follow the conversation on social media with hashtag #SeaLionCrisis2015
Want to do more to support conservation programs?
Join the Caring Together Club, a special community of animal advocates who understand and support the work that Georgia Aquarium and the zoological community are doing for animals everywhere. You can sign up today via our newsletter preference center.