After her two month of rehabilitation at SeaWorld San Diego’s Animal Rescue Center, Marina, the stranded sea lion pup, was returned to her ocean home on Tuesday 5th April.
Marina was found in a restaurant booth in February to the bewilderment of the waiters and waitresses at San Diego’s La Jolla, who discovered the eight-month old pup snoozing in their Marine Room with no clue as to how she’d managed to find her way inside.
Weighing in at just over 9 kilograms, the sea lion was a ‘micro pup’, meaning that she was half the weight she should have been for a pup her age. Upon her arrival at the centre, animal care specialists began an intense rehydration process. With her dehydrated state and infected eye, the pup was in such a serious condition that the the staff at SeaWorld were concerned about the sea lion’s recovery.
Following eight weeks of attentive veterinary and rehabilitative care, Marina has been nursed back to health, her eye has healed, she has gained more than 11kg, and she has also demonstrated the ability to forage for food.
Marina’s road to recovery was partly assisted by Jody Westberg, SeaWorld’s stranded animal coordinator (and the person who rescued Marina), as well as Chef Bernard Guillas, the executive chef of the Marine Room restaurant who visited the sea lion several times during her rehabilitation at SeaWorld.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a global leader in animal welfare. The Company rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld rescue team has helped more than 27,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.