From Sick To Well. Sea Lions Return Home.
Last Saturday, about 50 of us gathered at 7:00 am on Dana Strand. I only knew my daughter—a volunteer at the Pacific Marine Wildlife Center—in Laguna Beach. She had told me about the wonderful staff and volunteers. I had read about the work of this non-profit center to rescue and rehabilitate ocean mammals, offer educational programs, and advocate for a healthy ocean. Now I wanted to see it for myself.
Today four of these amazing creatures were going to be released after being treated for illness and malnourishment. Sadly, almost all sick ocean mammals are the result of human actions from a depletion of food through climate change to entanglement in nets, to gunshot wounds!
An early morning hush settled over us as the cages were lifted from the back of a truck and placed on the sand. Staff formed a barricade with plastic fences to shepherd this group back into the ocean. The four pinnipeds huddled together for a moment and then, collectively, made a beeline for the waves. Once the four heads could be seen swimming into the waves, the crowd broke into shouts of joy. I cried.
My thoughts as we start into the 2nd quarter of 2023: First, how wonderful to see the care and concern for saving the lives of these mammals. To cheer their return to a functioning life was heartwarming. My second thought: what would it take for us to care for the those among us who are wounded, malnourished, and scared? Somehow, it’s easier with a creature that can’t talk and that does not look like us.
This certainly has my brain pondering and looking for opportunities… we are all part of the animal kingdom. I would like to serve both the two-legged and the four-flippered.