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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/

Monday, December 22, 2008

Two of a Kind

Top Left: Volunteer Stan Jensen transfers Crimson. Top Right: Lil' Bit and Crimson nose each other in greeting.
Lower Left: Lil' Bit examines squid under Crimson's watch. Lower Right: Lil' Bit learns to eat squid.

The Marine Mammal Center has been fairly quiet recently, with a minimal patient load and skeleton crew at the hospital. That meant that one young California sea lion pup, "Lil' Bit", was all alone in rehabilitation. So it was serendipitous when another young sea lion, "Crimson", arrived on site to provide Lil' Bit with some positive socialization with a member of the same species. After being admitted, Crimson was transferred to Lil' Bit's pen, where the two touched noses and examined one another before going into the pool. Perhaps that was the nudge Lil' Bit needed, because after meeting Crimson, the pup ate squid and fish for the first time since arriving at the Center. Hopefully Lil' Bit's new penmate will keep this intelligent and social young animal identified with other sea lions rather than human caretakers.

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