Manhattan Beach's Favorite Sea Lions Released Back Into OceanFeb 04, 2021 12:16PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Photo credit: Left - Manhattan Beach Police Department; Right - Julie Daniels.
Manhattan Beach's favorite sea lion pups are now back in the ocean.
The two baby sea lions, which have been dubbed the "doorstep duo" because they separately wandered up to two different Manhattan Beach doorsteps in December, have completed their rehabilitation at the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles (MMCCLA) and were released back to the ocean on Thursday.
The pups were both around six months old when they somehow got separated from their mothers, said Amber Becerra, the president of MMCCLA. Usually pups nurse until eleven months, so these babies were dehydrated, malnourished, and disoriented, she said.
While at the MMCCLA, they recovered and healed (one of them had a sting ray barb caught in his nose). "We plumped them up so they’re now triple their weight and able to go back to the ocean," said Becerra.
At Thursday's release, seen in a Facebook Live video, four pups were released (including the two Manhattan Beach pups.) One dashed off to the ocean immediately, while the others hesitated. Then the three remaining pups took off together, making happy leaps into the waves. (See screenshots from the release below.)
Helping Lost Marine Mammals
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, noted Becerra.
Marine Animal Rescue, run by Peter Wallerstein, is the rescue organization, and Marine Animal Care Center Los Angeles (MMCCLA) is the hospital. Both organizations are nonprofits and accept donations for their work.
A GoFundMe created on behalf of the two Manhattan Beach sea lion pups raised more than $1,900 for the MMCLA - with a generous donor doubling donations - and is still accepting contributions.