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Leapyear & Desora


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Elephant Seal Pups Go Back to the Wild in Record Time!

Elephant seal buddies Leapyear (left) and Desora check out their surroundings at Point Reyes National Seashore March 22, 2012.
© Dina Warren - The Marine Mammal Center

and Desora (two young elephant seal pups we rescued on Feb. 21 and 23, respectively) may have set an all-time recovery record at our hospital! Fortunately for these two seals, beachgoers who found them all alone on beaches with no mother in sight called our response hot line. Leapyear was rescued in San Mateo County and Desora was found on a beach in San Luis Obispo County.

At our hospital, both were too weak to eat fish, so our volunteers tube fed them a concoction of blended fish and water (kind of like a fish smoothie) three times a day. What's unique about these two patients is how fast they were able to get off of the tube feedings and begin eating fish. Many of our elephant seal patients of that age remain on-site for at least six weeks before they begin to show interest in fish. That was not the case for Leapyear and Desora; within the third week of their stay, they were gobbling up herring right and left! By the fourth week, our veterinarians knew these two seal pups were ready for life back in the ocean.

Wild elephant seals lounge on a boat launch ramp at Point Reyes National Seashore.
© Dina Warren - The Marine Mammal Center

The seals traveled together to Point Reyes National Seashore on March 22 where they were released back to the ocean. Leapyear and Desora were not alone when they lumbered out of their carriers at the water's edge; on land they were immediately greeted by other wild elephant seals! 

    Related links:

    Learn what to do when you come across a sick or injured seal pup.

    Help feed seal patients through our Dollar-a-Pound campaign.

    Sign up for a Docent-led tour today and see our other elephant seal patients!

    What is an elephant seal?



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