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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, August 18, 2010

Tot, a Guadalupe Fur Seal, Wears Her Name Well

Tot, a Guadalupe fur seal, at The Marine Mammal Center.

For such a tiny gal, this little girl fits a lot of charm into a very small package. The dictionary says tot means "babe", "angel" and "darling": all of these descriptions fit Tot perfectly. A little charmer, Tot has captured the hearts of the volunteers and staff during her hospital stay.

Tot is a Guadalupe fur seal. This kind of fur seal is found in Mexico and sometimes off of the California coast. Once there were many of them in California, but they almost became extinct due to hunting for their fur. With protection from the US and Mexican governments, there are now estimated to be over 7,000 Guadalupe fur seals.

Tot was originally released by The Marine Mammal Center on July 18, 2010, by boat just eight miles off of the Farallones islands.

Then, Tot was spotted a mere thirteen days later on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. This is called a "re-strand" at the Center. Emaciated and lethargic, Tot was being approached repeatedly by both people and dogs.

The Center rescued Tot and brought her to the Center for medical evaluation and treatment. Now Tot has gained enough weight and strength to return to her ocean home. Soon she will be released back into the wild. Safe travels, Tot!

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