Thank you for signing up to our email!

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

Vote for Your Favorite Marine Mammal Patient of 2012!

It's awards season! Although there were many great stories told by the film world this past year, we think some of the best stories came from the water world, and our marine mammal patients.

In honor of our brave and inspiring flippered friends we've created our very own "People's Choice Awards." Of the 522 patients we rescued last year, staff and volunteers created a shortlist of six amazing animals for you to choose from. Who is your Patient of the Year 2012? 

February 6, 2013

And the winner of the 2012 favorite Patient of the Year is - drum roll please... Old Ray!

Here's the breakdown of how the votes went:

California sea lion - Old Ray

960 votes

Guadalupe fur seal - Jax 281 votes
Pacific harbor seal - On the Rocks 154 votes
California sea lion - Blonde Bomber 121 votes
Northern elephant seal - Pilgrim 93 votes
Northern fur seal - Golden Missy 83 votes

Thanks to all who participated in this year's voting!

Old Ray
© Dina Warren - The Marine Mammal Center

Old Ray - California Sea Lion

Admitted: November 15, 2011 and re-stranded May 9, 2012
Diagnosis: Gunshot wounds - blind

Sadly, when Old Ray stranded, his x-rays showed that his head was full of gunshot fragments. Amazingly, after a month of treatment at our hospital he was released, but unbelievably, was back at our hospital for treatment after he was found shot again! Blind in one eye, and with limited vision in the other, he could not survive in the ocean. Old Ray now has a permanent home at the Indianapolis Zoo where his caretakers love him.
Golden Missy
© Jeff Robinson - The Marine Mammal Center

Golden Missy - Northern Fur Seal

Rescued: July 31, 2012, north shore of Oahu, Hawaii
Diagnosis: Bad location - lost

Golden Missy was thousands of miles off course when she was rescued from the north shore of Oahu. She was quickly flown via Fed Ex to The Marine Mammal Center where our veterinarians checked her out and thankfully, found her to be healthy. After a little TLC, she was released at a beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore (much closer to home!).
On the Rocks
© Adam Ratner - The Marine Mammal Center

On the Rocks - Pacific Harbor Seal

Admitted: March 23, 2012
Diagnosis: Abandoned - malnourished

When On the Rocks was rescued, he was just a few days old and weighed less than 14 lbs. We knew he was premature pup because his coat didn’t have any spots. Without his mom to feed him, On the Rocks had no chance to survive in the wild. After two months of care, he gained over 31 lbs in weight and once he graduated "Fish School" (where pups are given the time and opportunity to competitively catch and eat whole fish), On the Rocks was deemed healthy and strong enough to go back to his ocean home. 68 (62% ) harbor seal pups got a second chance at life in 2012 - a success record for The Marine Mammal Center.
Blonde Bomber
© Ingrid Overgard - The Marine Mammal Center

Blonde Bomber - California Sea Lion

Admitted: October 9, 2012
Diagnosis: Entanglment - dart rescue

Blonde Bomber was spotted at PIER 39 with a plastic packing strap tightly wrapped around his neck. Our trained rescue team conducted a tricky rescue involving a special dart gun, and successfully captured Blonde Bomber on a floating dock. He was then transported to The Marine Mammal Center where veterinarians freed him from the noose and treated his wounds. After just a week of food and rest he was released at Rodeo Beach right near our hospital in the Marin Headlands.
© Ingrid Overgard - The Marine Mammal Center

Pilgrim - Northern Elephant Seal

Admitted: November 11, 2012
Diagnosis: Bite mark wound - healed with honey

Pilgrim was a 216 lb yearling elephant seal with a big bite wound on his back. Was it a shark or another elephant seal that bit him? We will never know, but the team rallied to help this seal recover. Veterinarians cleaned the wound and used honey to prevent infection and accelerate his healing process. Once healthy, Pilgrim was released back to the wild just before Thanksgiving.
© Adam Ratner - The Marine Mammal Center

Jax- Guadalupe Fur Seal

Admitted: April 20, 2012
Diagnosis: Bad location - weak and sick

Cute Jax (with her Yoda-like ears) was a rare Guadalupe fur seal who was severely malnourished and had barnacles on her fur when she stranded. At barely 19 lbs, she was very underweight for her age. With lots of tender loving care and fish from our volunteers and staff, she gained weight and was successfully released in the Channel Islands; a wonderful protected breeding ground for fur seals.


RSVP for "Sex & the Sea" talk at The Marine Mammal Center on Feb. 6 (Adults only!)

Visit us - book a tour today!

Find out how you can help a sick or injured seal!




COVID Response

Focusing on safety in our core work.

Learn more
Adopt a Seal

Your symbolic adoption helps our patients thrive.

Share the Love!

Honor or remember loved ones with your gift.

Give Joy