Vocalizing Elephant Seal

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This elephant seal pup had a lot to say moments before the skinny, wayward pup was rescued in Marina del Rey!

MAR Helmet Cam Videos

When MAR first came up with the idea of wearing a helmet cam during our marine mammal encounters, it was for the purpose of using the footage for the production of our Pinniped Rescue Training DVD. We knew it was the best way to show the sometimes complicated, dangerous and sometimes humorous marine mammal rescues from the eyes of the rescuer.

As it turns out, the footage was also a great way to show the general public and our supporters what some of the challenges marine mammal rescuers face when coming to the aid of injured orphaned or sick marine mammals.

Sea Lion Rescued From Flood Control Channel

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This 200 pound sea lion found her way 7 miles from the ocean in the flood control channel also known as Ballona Creek. As you'll see in the video, the sea lion was still strong, fast and aggressive. That's good to see, it shows she's not in too much distress. The rescue was very challenging! But, after a couple of close calls, it was successful. After evaluating her physical and mental condition, we decided the best thing for this sea lion was to immediately release her. MAR transported her to a quiet, safe beach in Palos Verdes. Once the sea lion was let out of the net, she darted to the ocean, never looking back. We knew then that we made the right choice to release the strong animal. Before we released her, we marked her with a non-toxin red crayon to help identify her if she restrands.

Suffering 450 lb. Sea Lion Rescued From Dock

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This 450-pound male sea lion was found on the dock located at Larson’s Marina in San Pedro. The otherwise very strong sea lion is suffering from a severe wound to his mouth that prohibited the sea lion from eating. Although not confirmed, the wound is consistent with an injury caused by a seal bomb. We felt the pressure to make this dangerous attempt successful on the first try. If we missed him, we might not get another chance. The only way we had a chance rescuing the sea lion was by utilizing the floating net. But, even if we did successfully rescue the sea lion and he did jump into the floating net, what do we do then? He was weighing in at over 450 pounds and he was strong. Located on a dock hundreds of yards from MAR’s rescue truck it would be very difficult to safely transport him to the truck by carrying him on the narrow dock. So we contacted LA County Lifeguard Baywatch and the Captain was willing to assist. If we could get him to jump into the net, we would use Baywatch to transport him to the dock and then use a commercial crane, provided by Al Larson’s, to lift the large sea lion from the boat, onto the dock and into the transportation cage. MAR swam the floating net into position as the Baywatch crew and a rescuer from the dock approached the sea lion in a coordinated effort to force him to turn and dive into the floating net. It worked! The injured sea lion jumped into the floating frame and with assistance from Baywatch, boaters from Larson’s Marina and longshoremen from Al Larson’s Boat Works, MAR successfully rescued the sea lion and transported him to the center for medical attention. MAR also rescued a 140 pound female sea lion at White Point today. She suffered from at least 2 stainless steel hooks stuck in her flesh.

Sea Lion Rescued From Cerritos Channel Buoy

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We tried for over a month to rescue this sea lion. We tried using the floating net technique, paddling up in a kayak, approaching from a boat. But nothing worked, she eluded rescue each time. Having other sea lions on the buoy with her complicated this rescue. Today, approaching in an inflatable boat we successfully rescued the injured sea lion from the Cerritos Channel Buoy. It

Injured Female Sea Lion Rescued From Dockweiler Beach

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Sea lions are very quick and agile on land. You can see the distance we must keep when making the initial evaluation. If we decide a rescue is needed, we start the rescue attempt a good distance away from the animal, approaching slowly along the shoreline. If we approached from the direction of the truck, or too quickly with too much movement, the animal would beat us to the water and we’d lose our chance to rescue it. When starting the approach it’s important for the rescuer to “hide” behind the hoop net during the approach. Sea lions can easily recognize a human form. Using the hoop and net to break up the silhouette, allows the rescuer to usually get close enough for the attempt. The rescuer must know how quick even sick or injured sea lions can be and also just how quick they are themselves. At the right time, when the rescuer feels they can be successful on cutting the path of escape they must, without hesitation, run keeping the hoop in front of them the entire time. This one was close, but successful. The female sea lions entire face was swollen from an injury. She was bleeding from the mouth. She needed help. You can see how important it is that marine mammal rescues be conducted patiently, with proper training and equipment along with knowledge about the animals we’re rescuing.

Gill Netted Sea Lion Rescued From Jetty

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What a relief! For the animal and for the rescuers. This sea lion has gill net wrapped tightly around her neck. The wound in the back of her neck was an inch deep. The yearling sea lion was first spotted over a month ago on the detached breakwater in Marina del Rey. Surrounded by water, the breakwater is a hang out for at least other 100 sea lions. When approaching for a rescue attempt, if one animal is spooked, they all head for the water. We got close a few times. But, she eluded rescue each time. Frustrating! Rescuers don’t want to try more than once, maybe twice each day for fear of scaring the animal to an unknown location where we might lose our chance to rescue the injured animal. Today, she was with only one other animal. So an attempt was made. With a steady approach towards the sea lion on our Zodiac, a net was thrown to rescue the sea lion. She slipped away, but not too far. The sea lion fell into a crevasse, which allowed MAR a second chance to rescue the animal. This time, the rescue was successful and with support from LA County Lifeguard, Bay Watch Marina del Rey, the sea lion was safely secured on MAR’s boat for the ride to our rescue truck at the boat launch. The female sea lion was immediately transported for medical attention. Thank you to all of you who reported to us daily the location of the sea lion. Thanks to those like Greg, an off-duty LA City Firefighter, who took the time to go out with MAR to attempt to rescue the young animal. Thanks to you all! Rescuers, don’t ever give up on an animal that needs help.

Wayward Sea Lion Pups Rescued

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Here are some sea lion pup rescues. The last rescue is a female sea lion pup that wandered up the sand, across the strand, across Speedway, up 17 Ave. in Hermosa Beach, and somehow opened the gate to the private home and found a very comfortable chair to rest on. MAR rescued the pup who was also suffering a small wound to her face most likely caused by a fish hook.

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