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Animal Files

PMMC rescues a record 12 pinnipeds in four days

Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) reported a record 12 pinniped rescues from Friday, April 12 to Monday, April 15, with six rescues on Friday alone.

The first rescue, at 7:04 a.m. on Friday, April 12, was an elephant seal pup at the 1300 block of Circle Way. The female seal, named Moscow, was rescued and brought back to PMMC. The seal was malnourished and dehydrated and is now resting at PMMC. 

The second case PMMC looked into, at 7:54 a.m., turned out to be an adult female sea lion at Thalia Street Beach. Since these animals are partially aquatic, sometimes they rest on non-crowded beaches. Because it was the early morning, not many people were at the beach yet. 

Animal Files injured seal

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of PMMC

PMMC has rescued 12 marine mammals since Friday, April 12, including this elephant seal

“PMMC went out to investigate and determined the animal did not need to be rescued and encouraged it back into the water as to not get harassed by pets and people,” PMMC’s Krysta Higuchi said.

The third rescue on Friday occurred at Shaw’s Cove at 2:46 p.m. following reports of a pinniped with a neck injury. 

“This would be the fourth out of six rescues we would perform that day. When we first got the call, our team was already out on two other rescues,” Higuchi said.

The PMMC team was able to pick up the animal and bring back it to PMMC. Once back at the center, a full exam was performed and it was determined a ratfish barb was in the elephant seal pup’s neck. 

Animal Files raftish barb

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of PMMC

Ratfish barb is found in the neck of an elephant seal among other injuries

“Our animal care team was able to remove the 4-inch barb. The animal has other wounds; a full X-ray and other exams will be performed to determine the full extent of the animal’s injuries,” Higuchi said.

Unfortunately, PMMC is also still without Internet and phones, which went out after a car hit a pole on Saturday night near PMMC. All phone calls to PMMC’s main line are being rerouted to a cell phone. 

To contact PMMC or report an injured pinniped, please call (949) 494-3050.

To make a donation to PMMC, visit www.pacificmmc.org

-By Suzie Harrison