Fortissima is the first Northern elephant seal pup we've admitted in 2013.
May 20, 2013
Fortissima is doing wonderfully thanks to the care of so many volunteers and staff, as well as your support during our Dollar-a-Pound campaign! She's doubled in size since we first admitted her at the end of January and now weighs almost 130 pounds. Veterinarians will give her a release exam this week, and if all is well, she could be swimming in the ocean by the end of the week!
February 28, 2013
After three weeks of care at our hospital, Fortissima is looking much better than when she rescued after being found alone on the beach. She is being tube-fed fish shakes three times a day and starting to gain some weight. As you can see in the photo, she is shedding her black coat of fur, a completely normal process for baby elephant seals. Fortissima has a long way to go before she will be ready to be released back to her ocean home. If you would like to help her, you can make a donation to The Marine Mammal Center.
Donate today to give Fortissima some fish milk shakes tomorrow!
$25 buys 25 lbs of fish
$50 buys a full day of fish shakes for a pup like Fortissima
$75 buys meals and meds for an elephant seal for a day
$100 buys an admit exam for a elephant seal
$150 buys 2 days of meals and meds for an elephant seal
February 6, 2013
Lying alone on RCA beach north of Bolinas, this elephant seal pup was very lucky that a good Samaritan was doing her own beach cleanup when she stumbled upon this month-old elephant seal pup. Separated from her mother before she was weaned, Fortissima, as she was later named, was in real trouble. If this concerned citizen had not called The Marine Mammal Center to report a stranded elephant seal pup on this remote beach, Fortissima would likely not be alive today.
Rescuers from The Marine Mammal Center had their work cut out for them! It was an hour-long walk from the nearest access point to reach Fortissima and they did it carrying a large dog carrier and a sled. Once they reached her, it was relatively easy to get her into the carrier but then the real work of dragging the carrier with an 83 lb pup in an old U.S. Army sled began! It took them another hour to get back to the truck.
When Fortissima arrived at the Center on January 28, 2013, her eyes were gummy indicating that she was dehydrated, and she had some scrapes on her face. She was also malnourished. Elephant seals are born with a black coat of fur, which is molted or shed about the time that they wean, around 28 days after birth. Fortissima still had her full black coat of fur when she was rescued and her teeth were just barely beginning to break through. She was immediately given fluids and started on a special formula designed for elephant seal pups. Volunteers at the Center will continue to tube feed her until she is stronger and ready to learn to eat fish.
When our veterinarians examined her they found 7 to 8 small puncture wounds on her hindquarters, most likely from a dog bite or bites. To prevent infection she was given a course of antibiotics. A week later, the wounds are healing nicely, and she is starting to look much better! Fortissima will be with us for a while as gets stronger so check back here often for updates.
Please help Fortissima and other seal patients today!
Learn more about elephant seals and hear what they sound like!
Learn about our Leave Seals Be campaign!
Download a pocket rescue card so you can call in a rescue!
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