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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, June 1, 2010

Tromar the Sea Lion: A Reminder that We are All Connected to the Ocean

The green netting that The Marine Mammal Center successfully removed from around Tromar's neck.

Tromar is a male California sea lion that was rescued on May 25th in Santa Cruz. He was found entangled with a large wad of knotted netting around his lower neck in front of his fore flippers. The netting encircled his head and face causing some serious damage to his right eye. He was also underweight and dehydrated upon arrival at the Center. Fortunately, the staff removed the netting and started him on a course of antibiotics to reduce the chances of an infection spreading.

Tromar serves as yet another reminder of our connection to the ocean. No matter where we live, we are all connected to the ocean. Inland or coastal, everything we do has an impact on the ocean. In fact, about 10% of the animals we rescue each year suffer from some sort of entanglement due to marine debris like packing straps, fishing line, netting and balloon strings.

"What's maddening is that you look at the wide array of reasons why marine mammals strand such as illnesses and malnourishment and this one - marine debris - is something we can control if we just change our behaviors and attitudes about how we discard plastics, fishing line and other trash that becomes marine debris," said Jeff Boehm, executive director at The Marine Mammal Center.

Here are some simple things you can do today to help eliminate this problem:
1. Dispose of fishing lines and lures properly to help keep them out of the ocean. Animals can mistake them for food or become entangled in them.
2. Avoid releasing balloons into the sky as they often end up in the water.
3. Be sure to cut the six-pack plastic rings that come in packages of beverages.

Tromar is still at the Center receiving care. We'll keep you posted on his recovery...

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