16 August 2009

Stranded Sea Lion

Today S and I went for a walk along the Half Moon Bay coast (with a little geocaching on the side to make it more interesting). The waves were small, and with only a light chop on the surface of the ocean, it was easy to see the plethora of wildlife in the water. A multitude of pelicans were making dive-bombing runs over a dark area undoubtedly teeming with fish. And dozens of sea lions jumped and arced like dolphins over the same movable feast.

Sadly, on a thin low-tide strip of sand next to the Jetty, we passed a skinny young sea lion who hadn't been finding food so easily. She lifted her head and looked right at me, intelligence and hopelessness in her eyes. I was the second to report the stranding to the Marine Mammal Center, which said help was on the way. I hope she makes it.

Grab your cellphone now and save the MMC's number: 415-289-SEAL. (That's the one to call from San Luis Obispo to Mendocino County, but in Monterey and Santa Cruz, phone 813-633-6298.) And here's what to do if you find a stranded seal, sea lion, sea otter, dolphin or other marine mammal.

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