Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Laguna Beach Police, and Marine Safety Departments join forces for seal release event

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC), in collaboration with the Laguna Beach Police and Marine Safety Department, celebrated a momentous occasion with the successful release of two rehabilitated seals back into their natural habitat.

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Photos courtesy of LBPD

Members of PMMC, Laguna Beach Police and Marine Safety Departments wait to release the seals

In a heartwarming display of teamwork and dedication to marine conservation, Animal Service Officer John Thompson, Police Officer Tony Manzano, Marine Safety Officer Nicholas Ridge, and Police Officer Hunter Ketzel. Alongside Chief Jeff Calvert Marine, Safety Officer Porter Hogan, and the PMMC team, participated in the uplifting event.

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Animal Service Officer John Thompson and Marine Safety Officer Nicholas Ridge open the crates for the seal pups

Both Animal Service Officer John Thompson and Marine Safety Officer Nicholas Ridge were given the privilege of opening the crates for the seal pups, who eagerly embraced their newfound freedom with boundless energy.

Among the released seals was Coastie, rescued on January 28th from beneath the Newport Beach Pier, initially weighing 27.3 pounds. Named in honor of a Coast Guards volunteer, Coastie has now thrived under PMMC’s care, returning to the ocean weighing a robust 62.5 pounds.

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Coastie and Skoz head for the ocean

The second seal, Skoz, rescued on February 19th from the Dana Point Harbor jetty, weighed 34.9 pounds upon rescue. Named after a Harbor Patrol Officer, Skoz has made remarkable progress, tipping the scales at 69.3 pounds as he returns to the sea.

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center extends its heartfelt appreciation to all involved in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts, highlighting the invaluable partnership with the First Responders of Laguna Beach. Their unwavering support and collaboration contribute significantly to the protection and preservation of marine life along the coast.

For individuals encountering marine mammals in distress, please contact the Pacific Marine Mammal Center at 949.494.3050. For injured animals within Laguna Beach, reach out to Laguna Beach Animal Control via their non-emergency line at 949 497.0701.


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