As athletes from around the world compete in the 2012 Olympic games in London this summer, we take a look at some interesting comparisons between these human heroes and our pinniped champions!
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Featured Sporting Moments:
Synchronized Swimming - Human VS. Sea Lion
100 Meter Butterfly - Humans VS. Dolphins
Marine mammals and humans certainly share many things; food, habitat, and sometimes even athletic abilities! Check out the similarities between a few of our graceful sea lion patients and the U.S. womens' synchronized swim team, and members of the U.S. mens swim team trials - 100 meter butterfly vs. a pod of dolphins! (Hint, for fun, play both videos at the same time to really appreciate the comparisons!)
Olympus is a California sea lion with a new lease on life thanks to Team Seal at The Marine Mammal Center! A team of nine trained rescuers from our hospital went out to a jetty in Monterey on July 29 where they spotted him swimming around with a bundle of fishing line wrapped tightly around his neck and head. Sadly, hundreds of sea lions are spotted swimming around harbors like this one and others along the coast, all with entanglements around their necks, heads and flippers. At The Marine Mammal Center, approximately 8% of our patients are rescued with ocean trash wrapped around them.
With the team in the water and rescue equipment in hand, they slowly moved in on the sea lion, who was perched on a rock next to a fellow sea lion. If he dived into the water, and away from our team's nets, they knew they might never see him again! Fortunately, the rescue was a success and his entanglement was carefully cut away from his neck. Read the rest of his story here!
Olympus is a survivor and a champion here at the Center! His wounds will soon begin to heal, but in the meantime, our veterinarians have him on a medical plan to stave off infections, and he's getting his appetite back for fish!. If you would like to help him and our other patients with the food, medicine and medical care they need - the best way is through our Dollar-a-Pound campaign! And don't forget to take our Go for the Gold marine mammal quiz and get a free ring tone download of a sea lion just like Olympus!
Gnort - High-Diving Sea Lion!
Gnort was quite the sea lion patient at our hospital in 2008 - some would even call him a social climber. Tipping the scales at 330 lb, Gnort was treated for acute domoic acid toxicity. Once he was feeling better, he decided to show off. One day he spotted a young female sea lion in a pool next to his and decided to exercise his high-jumping skills to get closer to her! As you can see, he succeeded!
Gnort and his gal-pal were successfully rehabilitated and released back to the wild that year. Since then, we've been grateful to move into our new facilities which include a state-of-the art filtration system, wonderful public areas, and some much needed taller fences.
Milestone - Sea Lion Earns Gold Medal!
Well, he didn't really receive a gold medal, but Milestone should have because he was our 10,000th California sea lion patient since we began rescuing marine mammals in 1975! He was sighted doing well in the wild in May 2012 almost a year after he was rescued. The rescue of this sea lion, as well as all of our patients, is an amazing achievement and signifies the dedication and commitment people like you have to helping these animals and giving them a second chance at life. But it's also a sobering message about the health of our oceans and the role we all can play in making their home, the worlds' largest life source, a healthier and safer place to live.
Leapyear & Desora - Record-Breaking Recovery Elephant Seal Pups!
Leapyear and Desora, two young elephant seal pups we rescued in late February this year, may have set an all-time recovery record at our hospital! Fortunately for these two seals, beach goers who found them all alone on beaches with no mother in sight called our response hot line. Leapyear was rescued in San Mateo County and Desora was found on a beach in San Luis Obispo.
At our hospital, both were too weak to eat fish, so our volunteers tube fed them a concoction of blended fish and water (kind of like a fish smoothie) three times a day. What's unique about these two patients is how fast they were able to get off of the tube feedings and begin eating fish. Many of our elephant seal patients of that age remain on site for at least six weeks before they begin to show interest in fish. That was not the case for Leapyear and Desora; within the third week of their stay, they were gobbling up herring left and right! By the fourth week, our veterinarians knew these two seal pups were ready for life back in the ocean and on March 22, the two seals went back to the sea at Point Reyes. True champions indeed!
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