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The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary hospital, research, and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals and the study of their health. Since 1975, the Center has rescued and treated more than 16,500 marine mammals and has accumulated a body of knowledge about marine mammal and ocean health. Through public education about marine mammals, the Center hopes to foster ocean stewardship and conservation. For more information, visit http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Seahawk at the Zoo!

Sometimes, animals rehabilitated at the Center are not releasable back to the wild, but are otherwise healthy animals. These include animals that have some sort of permanent injury that would prohibit them from being able to feed out in the ocean, or animals that re-strand and for some reason or another, cannot take care of themselves in the wild. When this happens, the Center does its best to find the animal a permanent home at a facility like an aquarium or a zoo.

Such was the case with “Seahawk”, a California sea lion that restranded multiple times a few years ago and found a home at the Pittsburgh Zoo. From time to time, Seahawk’s keepers send the Center and all the volunteers here who cared for Seahawk, an update on his development. The most recent e-mail from them let us know that Seahawk is now over 200 pounds! He’s sharing his pen with two females, “Maggie” and “Zooey”, and keepers speculate that he might breed with these animals.

While it’s not the optimal outcome for animals that are rehabilitated here, it’s fortunate that there are facilities willing to care for animals that otherwise would not survive, and the animals placed in these facilities will go on to educate people about marine mammals.

See photos of Seahawk and his penmates above!

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