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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/

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Firemen Don't Just Rescue Cats Stuck In Trees...

Photos: Sue Pemberton, The Marine Mammal Center

The Marine Mammal Center went out on an exciting rescue yesterday in South San Francisco. Our Stranding Department received a call that a California sea lion was stuck in a muddy canal about 2 miles inland, and sent out a rescue crew, including Lincoln Shaw and Sue Pemberton, two volunteers who have previous experience rescuing sea lions from unusual locations. When they arrived, they found a sub-adult male sea lion stuck at the bottom of a concrete canal without easy access. Just as they had determined that a rescue attempt would be unsafe and impossible, firemen from Fire Station 61 located across the street arrived and said they would like to help. Using an aerial ladder and a Stokes Litter attached to rigging, the Fire Department helped The Marine Mammal Center's team hoist the animal, which had been herded into a carrier, out of the canal and onto solid ground. The Center named the animal "Station 61" in honor of the firemen who helped. Now that's teamwork!

The animal was transported back to our hospital in Sausalito, where it was weighed (235 lbs.), and will be treated by veterinarians. However, the prognosis is very guarded for this animal. He was gasping and lethargic when he was rescued, and continues to have labored breathing. Also, whenever older sea lions are found in unusual locations exhibiting signs of agitation, it usually means there is something seriously wrong with their health. We will keep you posted on "Station 61's" condition. Thanks to the great firemen who helped us with what must be a very unusual rescue for them!

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