Friday, March 24, 2017

Pup rescue at San Simeon Cove

Was there ever a more pathetic pup? This starving weaner stranded on  the south end of the beach at San Simeon Cove on March 21, the first day of Spring. He was reported to the center in the afternoon and by late in the day -- note the long shadows -- a team was out there to rescue him.

He doesn't have much energy, so capturing him was pretty easy. just surround and nudge, and into the carrier he went

Several visitors were on the beach on this sunny but windy day. They were eager to help the pup. Two offered to  help carry the heavy carrier., The pup was several hundred yards down the beach. It felt like a long way carrying him back to the truck.
They named the pup Hartley. He perked up after he got some fluids at the Morro Bay center. "He's been very vocal," said center director Diana Kramer. He was sent to the Sausalito hospital and will be evaluated and treated there. I'll post updates.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


A flock of brown pelicans descended on the north beach at Piedras Blancas on Monday. They were slurping up fresh water in the runoff from ranchlands on the east side of Highway 1.

Many were in the water, catching fish as well.

In 2016, there were reports of a failed breeding season, and it did seem like few birds were on our beaches. I'm encouraged to see so many this year.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rescued pup update

The first elephant seal pup rescued in the 2017 season is doing well. She's recovering from her ordeal and making progress to being released back into her ocean home.
Stormy Night, as she was named by her rescuers, was tossed onto a pile of driftwood and kelp when hikers heard her cry and called The Marine Mammal Center. She was brought into the Morro Bay facility January 25 and sent to the main Sausalito hospital the next day.
She weighed only 33.5kg, 74 pounds. That's about what seal pups weigh when they are born. She should have weighed 200 pounds or more.
Veterinary staff at the hospital heard harsh breathing sounds in her lungs, indicating a mild case of pneumonia. She probably inhaled sea water while she was being tossed around in the waves. She was treated with antibiotics and her lungs are now clear and healed.
She was evaluated as malnourished due to being separated from her mother. The staff started feeding her elephant seal formula, a rich mix of ground Alaskan herring (sustainably caught) and salmon oil, thinned with water. She got 1,000 cc's, over four cups, of that three times a day.
Volunteers Joy Sherrick and Jon Farhar tube feed Stormy Night after she was first rescued.

She's just started to gain weight, about two pounds. But she has turned around and is healthy, if skinny.
"Stormy Night’s outlook is positive," said Diana Kramer, director of the Morro Bay facility. "She’s active and vocal. It may take several weeks for her to gain back weight she lost after separating from her mother."
TMMC staff are offering her whole fish, and she's interested.
"It's part of the learning process," Diana said. "It's a positive step towards learning how to eat independently."