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Your Impact Will Go Twice as Far for a Pup

Do you notice all those folds of skin? They tell a heartbreaking story of a pup far too thin. 

Right now, there’s a $5,000 gift match waiting for the pups, and your support is needed to unlock it. 

Yes, your $5 = $10 today, meaning you can provide double the fish meals for a pup like Horseshoe. 

Get your gift matched
elephant seal pup Horseshoe
northern elephant seal pup Emerald with Pup Madness graphic

Pup Madness at The Marine Mammal Center

March Madness might be over, but Pup Madness at the Center has just begun!

Every spring, as marine mammal pupping season starts, our hospital starts to fill up with young seals and sea lions that are orphaned, premature, malnourished or some combination of the three. 

Experience our busiest season for animal care through the eyes of our youngest (and most adorable) patients as they prepare to return to their ocean home by learning to survive in the wild.

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Cast your vote for the class of 2024!

As these young pups work toward their fish school graduation we’ll share regular pup-dates so you can see how your favorite ranks among their pen-mates. These resilient pups will compete for some seal-ious superlatives. 

Follow along to see which pup will be crowned Plumpest Patient, Most Improved and Valedictorian. Plus, cast your vote to help decide which pup will reign supreme as the coveted Most Popular Pup. Make sure to vote between April 1 and May 1.

Vote now!

Northern elephant seal pup Beandip

Rescued: February 11, 2024
Diagnosis:Malnutrition, Maternal separation
Weight at Admit: 53 kg

Northern elephant seal Beandip was the first elephant seal pup admitted to our hospital this year. Our veterinary experts immediately saw signs that he was too young to be on his own - he was still sporting his blackcoat, or baby fur, which elephant seals shed once they’ve weaned from their mother.  

Luckily, Beandip is now receiving a specialized treatment plan with nutritious tube-fed meals and medicine. As he gains his strength, his care will expand to include lessons in fish school, where he will learn to track, catch and eat whole fish. His care might also include a variety of enrichment items, like imitation kelp or a box at the bottom of the pool stuffed with fish, which stimulates his natural instincts and aims to improve his physical and mental health. 

Once he’s proven he can catch whole fish on his own, compete for food with his pen-mates and receives a clean bill of health, Beandip will be ready for release. 

Help feed a hungry pup

northern elephant seal Beandip

Northern elephant seal pup Chunky

Rescued: February 15, 2023
Diagnosis: Malnutrition, Maternal separation
Weight at Admit: 67.5 kg

When Chunky was first spotted at Schooner Gulch State Beach he was skinny and still had his baby fur, but he was alert, so our trained responders made the decision to leave him “on watch.” This means Chunky was monitored by our response team for several days as they hoped to see signs of improvement. Unfortunately, Chunky remained lethargic and thin, plus off-leash dogs in the area posed a potential threat, so the decision was made to rescue this young pup. 

Chunky’s experience is sadly something we see often as harassment from people or dogs is one of the top reasons we rescue these young animals. Luckily for Chunky and pups like him, this can be prevented with a few simple tips to keep your pets and wildlife safe, which you can find here. 

Once at our Sausalito hospital, Chunky’s big personality made him a favorite among animal care staff and volunteers, who were pleased to see him respond well to initial treatment and begin to gain weight. With a healthy dose of herring, medicine and fish school lessons, we expect he will transform from a chunky pup to a chonk seal and return to his ocean home. 

northern elephant seal Chunky

Northern elephant seal pup Tapenade

Rescued: February 18, 2023
Diagnosis: Malnutrition, Maternal separation
Weight at Admit: 41.5 kg

True to the fancy nature of his namesake, Tapenade was found all alone on a private beach in San Mateo County. The path to him was challenging, with steep drops and uneven terrain, but our dedicated responders worked together to safely rescue this too-small pup and transport him to our hospital. 

During his admission exam, our veterinary team noted Tapenade was barely above birth weight. At just 91 pounds, he was well below the approximately 300 pounds he should be at his age. While charcuterie isn’t on the menu for Tapenade, nutritious “fish smoothies” with sustainable herring, fatty salmon oil and water will help this pup gain a healthy amount of weight while he learns the skills needed to survive in the wild.  

With best-in-class veterinary care, and olive the time and fish he needs thanks to your support, this ritzy pup will hopefully return to where he’s meant to brie - the wild. 

Help feed a hungry pup

northern elephant seal Tapenade

Northern elephant seal pup Pinpoint

Rescued: February 18, 2023
Diagnosis: Malnutrition, Maternal separation, Ocular abnormality, Trauma, Unknown
Weight at Admit: 39.5 kg

Pinpoint was first spotted at Bolinas Beach by surfers, who reported a tiny pup barely visible along the cliffs. In fact, she was so caked in mud our trained responders could barely see Pinpoint’s blackcoat. Once closer, they became especially concerned when it was clear one of her eyes was glassy.  

Pinpoint may be the only Pup Madness pupil with an eye abnormality (and the only female!), but she’s not alone among the thousands of marine mammal patients our best-in-class veterinary team has helped during our almost 50-year history. Our experts have healed eye abnormalities and even helped animals with only one eye successfully compete and forage so they can survive in the wild. 

Alongside her pen-mates, Pinpoint will learn to compete for, track and catch fish on her own despite any vision impairments. Eye-deally, this feisty pup will prove she is strong and fast enough to head back to her ocean home. 

northern elephant seal Tot

Adopt a Patient

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Hawaiian Monk Seal — Female
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