Thank you for signing up to our email!

Now, before you leave, do you want to make a seal's day?

Fear the Beard!

"The Beard" is an elephant seal patient we rescued with a tar patch around his jawline that looked suspiciously like the beard famed San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Brian Wilson sports!


June 10, 2012

The Beard returns back to the ocean at Point Lobos, CA.
© Carol Rowberg - The Marine Mammal Center

Home free! The Beard along with some of his other hospital buddies, went back to the ocean today at Point Lobos in Monterey County.

Elephant seal "The Beard" has a small patch of tar around his face and neck.
© The Marine Mammal Center

April 26, 2012

"The Beard" is eating fish on his own just a week after he arrived at our hospital in malnourished condition! Nicknamed after the famous San Francisco Giants player, Brian Wilson, "The Beard" is really a young male elephant seal weaner that our volunteers  rescued on a beach in Capitola, Santa Cruz County, on April 16.

The 82 lb pinniped was suffering from malnourishment and was lethargic - a big indicator for our team that this animal needed help, fast. In addition, "The Beard" somehow got covered with tar patches on his face and neck, forming what appears to be a thick beard. Fortunately, those patches are small and over time he will molt his coat and the patches will fall off without the need of a shave!

While he was too weak to eat on his own upon arrival at the hospital, volunteers and medical staff attended to "The Beard" daily, tube feeding him until he got strong enough to participate in fish school.  "The Beard' out-shined many of our other seal patients during fish school (which typically lasts a week or more) and actually finished the semester of learning how to properly swallow a fish in just one day! Now, he's eating almost 3 lb of fish a day, and soon, veterinarians will increase that amount so he can get bigger and strong enough to return to the ocean.

By Comparison:

Human - Brian Wilson - "The Beard"

© Denver Post

Born: Winchester, Massachusetts, 1982
Current Weight: 196 lb
Height:  6"1'
Pitches: 95-MPH fastball
Diet: Drinks 15 glasses of water a day and eats 6-to-7 times a day
Status: Had elbow surgery this week - expected to return to baseball next season

Pinniped - Northern Elephant Seal - "The Beard"

© The Marine Mammal Center

Born: Central CA coast, 2012
Current Weight: 82 lb (expected to gain 4,300 lb by age 7)
Length:  Approx. 4 ft (expected to grow to 13 ft)
Dives: Will dive 5,000 ft underwater
Diet: Doesn't drink water, but does eats 3 times a day
Status: Receiving medical care - expected to return to the ocean by June!

Learn about The Marine Mammal Center's Leave Seals Be campaign
Learn more about elephant seals
Buy some meals for "The Beard" and our seal patients - Dollar-a-Pound!

Click to subscribe to our RSS feed!



COVID Response

Focusing on safety in our core work.

Adopt a Seal

Your symbolic adoption helps our patients thrive.

Our Commitment

Expanding work on social and environmental equity.