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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, May 18, 2009

Elmo Makes a Dramatic Return!

Left: Elmo returns to the Center after bring refurbished by Scientific Art Studio in San Rafael. Photo by TMMC. Right: Frances Gulland, director of veterinary science at the Center, poses with Elmo in courtyard. Photo by TMMC.

The Marine Mammal Center welcomes back a familiar face- Elmo the northern elephant seal! Elmo has been with the Center for over 10 years and after a face lift and new paint job; has found himself a new home in the new courtyard!

Standing tall at over ten feet, the statue of Elmo replicates the actual size of an adult male northern elephant seal. In the wild, male northern elephant seals may grow to over 13 feet (4 m) in length and weigh up to 4,500 pounds (2,000 kg)! The females are much smaller at 10 feet (3 m) in length and 1,500 pounds (600 kg). Elmo is displayed in a fighting stance; a position in which adult males inflate their proboscis (nose) and produce loud roaring-like sounds to establish dominance for mature females .

While he might not have any female counterparts to impress here, his new look is likely to impress visitors at the Center and serves as a great feature to our courtyard!

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