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Dec 4, 2005
 
Album: Sealions, Fur Seals, Elephant Seals Oh My!
Just a number of pictures of the marine mammals that I have worked with and still work with in hopes of rehabilitating as many as possible to be released back into the wild.

by Karen Rudd


 This would just be the start of an album of Marine Mammals that I worked with to help rehabilitate to release back into the wild up at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito which has begun it's rebuild that's supposed to take place over a two year time span.  The critters we normally see are California Sea Lions, Northern Elephant seals and Harbor Seals.  Those three are the most common.  But we also see the Northern Fur Seals, Guadalupe Fur Seals, Stellar Sea Lions and Southern Sea Otters.  More rare to see is a variety of the different cetaceans and that's more because those animals have a very low success rate of being found alive or staying alive for very long after being rescued.  Cetaceans being a variety of dolphins, porpoises and whales.  They are very difficult to successfully rehabilitate for different reasons.  One big reason is the detrimental affects of stress.  And another big reason is by the time a whale or dolphin or porpoise strands they are usually already on the brink of death and they were already too weak and compromised to swim which is why they typically go to shore.  There are other reasons for strandings of course like confusion, disorientation, etc. In any case, we don't see as many as them.  Some of the more recent cases were Baker D. who was a Pacific Bottlenose who was successfully released and P. Parker who was a calf harbor porpoise who did not survive but struggled to live for quite some time.  This year in 2005 we had an unusually higher number of northern fur seals to come in.  And also they were much older than the ones we would typically see.  For fur seals it is much more common for a pup or yearling to strand.  But this year we saw more subadults and adults.  Most of them appeared to be suffering from Domoic acid poisoning.  Which would not be a good sign since it is not usually known for the fur seals to be hit by DA.  It could possibly mean that either they re having trouble finding food and coming inland more eating a food source that they didn't normally eat before or the algal blooms that carry the toxin that the fish eat that in turn the marine mammals eat is possibly spreading.  In any case, it would be something to look more in to and try to see what it would mean ecologically speaking.  The fur seals are already considered threatened species.  Aside from Domoic Acid poisoning some other reasons for stranding would be an outbreak of Leptospirosis.  Both DA and Lepto are more commonly seen in the sea lions and fur seals but not limited to them.  Lepto is a bacterial infection that can greatly affect the kidneys of an animal. Toxic Plasmosis is another one which is more common in sea otters but not limited to.  Other reasons for strandings can be entanglements, shark bites, boat strikes, gun shot wounds, maternal separation (which would be a more common reason for harbor seal pups), and a variety of other causes.
  They're all beautiful and a wonder to work with.  It can be fascinating just to observe them.    
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Posted: Sunday December 4, 2005, 6:41 pm
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Roy M. (339)
Sunday December 4, 2005, 11:38 pm
Nice pictures Kat! What a wonderful job to have!!

Sianna Flanagan (17)
Monday February 12, 2007, 1:24 am
dolphins

Maira Sun (34)
Sunday May 2, 2010, 10:29 pm
GRACIAS!

Platform B. (0)
Wednesday August 24, 2011, 7:32 am
[url=http://platform-bed-plans-choice.com/]platform bed plans[/url]

Author

Karen Rudd
female, age 37, single
Oakland, CA, USA
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A Northern Fur Seal going by the name Monahan      & nbsp;   &n bsp;   Considering that most of the stories I have shared recently has ended on pretty tragic terms, I thought I’d try to share at le...
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