'Pupdate': Help Manhattan Beach's Favorite Sea Lion PupsDec 22, 2020 07:13PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Photo via Manhattan Beach Police Department
Two sea lion pups who wandered up to residential homes in Manhattan Beach earlier this month have been rescued and are on the mend, according to the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles (MMCCLA) in San Pedro, where they are now being treated.
The MMCCLA has set up a GoFundMe for their care. (Your donation dollars will be doubled thanks to a generous donor who has offered to match donations.)
The first pup was located in the 2800 block of the Strand on December 7. With his forlorn face and black heart-shaped nose, he captured hearts across the country as the pictures circulated in news reports around the world.
The second pup appeared about a block east of the Strand a week later. Both were rescued by Marine Animal Rescue and and brought to MMCCLA.
It's unclear why the pups would have left their mothers early, said veterinarian Lauren Palmer of MMCCLA.
time of year we see a few pups that have been weaned early, but
typically weaning occurs in March, April, and May and that is when
we see a majority of young pups stranding," she told DigMB. "It is impossible to know why
some pups leave the rookery early, but it happens every year, for at
least a few little sea lions."
Palmer continued: "The
beach is the normal habitat for sea lions of all ages, but I don't
think these young animals have enough experience to know that
when they migrate away from the beach into a nearby neighborhood, it
may not be toward the safest place. They often look for some place warm
to rest and that may be in the sand, or even on a bike path, or the
front steps of a house."
The second pup had a stingray barb in its nose, which Palmer said she was sure had been painful. "The pup was obviously trying to catch something to eat,
but he won't be so eager to chase a stingray next time. There is a
steep learning curve for sea lion pups," she said.
Malnourished Pups Watched Closely
The pups, who were found malnourished, are now eating. But they continue to be watched closely at the care center.
If You Spot a Marine Mammal
Palmer advised that if you or someone you know spots a marine mammal on the beach or in a place where it should not be, do not approach it. The best thing to do is call
the rescue agency, Marine Animal Rescue, at 1-800-39-WHALE (1-800-399-4253), and they will come out and
evaluate the animal. Sometimes the animal is just resting and really
does not need to be rescued and should not be disturbed, she added.
She also noted that Marine Animal Rescue, run by Peter Wallerstein, is the rescue organization,
and Marine Animal Care Center Los Angeles (MMCCLA) is the
hospital, and they are two different organizations.
"We are both 501(c)(3) non-profit groups that depend on donations to do our work. We are always grateful for public support," she said.
And again, the GoFundMe for the two Manhattan Beach sea lion pups can be found here.