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Mufasa the Lion King!

A "lion" of a tale as rescuers free a sea lion, nicknamed Mufasa, from a nasty entanglement.

July 14, 2012

Mufasa, California sea lion, the Marine Mammal Center, rodeo beach
Mufasa makes a dash for the ocean at Rodeo Beach, Marin Headlands July 14, 2012.
© Stan Jensen - The Marine Mammal Center

Mufasa is back in the wild just 11 days after he was rescued! He was released at Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands on July 14 while beachgoers watched from a distance. 

July 10, 2012

The king of the sea lion pride received a special treat today - some live fish along with his herring meal! Mufasa is doing much better, and if his recovery continues to goes well, he could be relased back to the ocean jungle very soon! Enjoy this video and learn how you can help give a seal, or sea lion, a meal!

July 3, 2012

Mufasa, California sea lion, the Marine Mammal Center
Mufasa snoozes with the other sea lions while rescuers carefully move in for the rescue.
© Ainsley Smith - The Marine Mammal Center

Mufasa is currently the "king" of the sea lion patients at The Marine Mammal Center. This juvenile male sea lion (nicknamed after the popular leader of the lion pride in the film The Lion King) was rescued on July 1 in Monterey County after eluding rescuers for months. Mufasa had become entangled in netting that became wrapped tightly around his head just below his ears and above his jaw.  For the past few months, he had been spotted by boaters at a variety of places in Monterey, including Fishermen's Wharf, and near the Coast Guard Pier at Breakwater Cove.

Mufasa, California sea lion, the Marine Mammal Center
Inside a rescue carrier, Mufasa is ready for a trip to the hospital and freedom from his entanglement.
© Ainsley Smith - The Marine Mammal Center

On Sunday, a team of rescuers from The Marine Mammal Center's Monterey Bay Operations, including volunteers Doug Ross, Lincoln Shaw, Roy Coto, Kristen Culp, Winnie Mule and other members, saw an ideal opportunity to rescue the 147 lb animal who was snoozing with other sea lions on a pier. The rescuers positioned themselves in the water along with a special submersible net, called a submarine net, and two hoop nets. Other rescuers hid out on the dock, ready to help. As the team slowly moved closer to Mufasa, he woke up and dove into the water - right into the submarine net as planned. From there, the team was able to haul him into a boat and into a carrier, safe and sound and ready for transport to the hospital in Sausalito!

Mufasa, California sea lion, the Marine Mammal Center
Veterinarians remove the monofilament line wrapped around Mufasa's neck and treat the cuts.
© Ainsley Smith - The Marine Mammal Center

It's not known how long Mufasa had this entanglement around his neck, but it was apparent that the monofilament line had cut in deeply as he grew, causing veterinarians to be concerned for potential infections. They immediately put him under sedation, cut away the netting, treated the open wounds, and began him on a treatment of antibiotics. He currently is resting quietly in one of the outdoor pens and volunteers and staff continue to watch after him while he recovers.

Annually, approximately 8% of the marine mammals that veterinarians treat at The Marine Mammal Center have had an encounter with ocean trash. Read about Evader, a recent sea lion patient that was also rescued with an entanglement around his neck.

Learn more about California sea lions
Learn how you can prevent ocean trash

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