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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, June 24, 2009

Malnourished Sea Lions' Mystery

"Fruitvale" is a young California sea lion patient that was rescued from the northbound lanes of I-880 in Oakland, CA on June 22. The one-year-old pup is suffering from malnourishment and is being treated at The Marine Mammal Center. Photo: The Marine Mammal Center.

In recent weeks, The Marine Mammal Center has rescued hundreds of young California sea lion pups that are stranding as a result of malnourishment up and down the coast between San Luis Obispo and Mendocino Counties. This is almost double the number of rescues compared to last year at this time. Volunteers and staff are working at a feverish pitch to respond to all of the rescue calls from the public and are even triaging patients temporarily in the Center's Monterey and Morro Bay facilities. Animal care volunteers are also working hard to feed and care for the patients on site, pulling 10 hours shifts or more each day. The majority of these pups are just skin and bones and nearly half are dying as a result of medical conditions resulting from malnourishment.

Scientists are not sure why the sea lions are not finding the fish they would normally eat such as anchovies and sardines, but it appears that a higher number of sea lion pups were born in the Channel Islands last year and the competition for food sources that have dwindled or moved elsewhere, is now fierce causing many of the pups to come ashore weak and with little or no energy to return to the water. Officials with NOAA say it's too early to confirm that an El Nino phenomenon is happening. During those conditions, the seal lions' food sources tend to go deeper and further north. Sea lion pups mostly feed along the California coast.

Visit our website to learn how you can get involved today to help these sea lion pups get a second chance at life!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Center Opens Its Doors!

This week The Marine Mammal Center opened its doors to the public for the first time in almost 4 years. Unveiling its newly rebuilt hospital and educational facility, the Center welcomed over 450 visitors who were excited to view current patients, see feeds being prepared, watch necropsies being performed, and learn more about marine mammals through educational exhibits.

The Marine Mammal Center is now open seven days a week, 10 A.M.-5 P.M. To learn more, click here

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Center Holds Ribbon Cutting Event

On Friday, June 5, 2009 - World Environment Day - The Marine Mammal Center held a special ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration of its newly rebuilt headquarters. The event was attended by over 400 people and all received a peek at the new exhibits and facilites during staff-led tours. Event speakers included representatives from the offices of Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and Lynn Woolsey, as well as The National Park Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. Major contributors to the Center were also acknowledged during the ceremony and participated in the ribbon cutting event. Guests dined al-fresco on a catered lunch before taking part in privately guided tours.

The Marine Mammal Center opens to the public on Monday, June 15 and will be open daily between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Marine Mammal Center Debuts New Facility to the Public on June 15!

Above left: Observational deck with new displays. Right: New educational displays and sea lion statue at entrance. Photos by TMMC.

Above left: Interactive sea lion exhibit in exhibit hall. Right: New display signs for fish kitchen. Photos by TMMC.

It’s a busy time here at The Marine Mammal Center! The interactive exhibits are in, the educational displays are up, and press releases are being written as we speak to announce The Marine Mammal Center is finally open after 4 years of remodeling!

Not only have dedicated staff and volunteers put in extra hours to launch the new facility, Stranding and Animal Care crews have been working overtime to rescue and rehabilitate the high number of sea lion patients entering the Center (about 10 a day)! Although it is not known why this influx in sea lion strandings sometimes occurs, one thing is for sure: the pups are malnourished. The staff and volunteers have been working diligently to care for all the animals and are continuing to find out new information.

Whether you’re just visiting the area, or are a dedicated Marine Mammal Center member, the Center invites you to experience for yourself the newly rebuilt hospital, research, and educational facility opening on June 15th.

The Center features observational areas to view current patients, meals being prepared, lab work processed, and even necropsies being performed. Visitors can learn about marine mammals through interactive exhibits in the exhibit hall and hands-on displays in the education classroom.
For more information about the Center, click here