Photos: Steve Marcotte / OsideNews
Editors note: For an update on the pups condition click here
Oceanside CA- A distressed sea lion pup was rescued, this morning, by Oceanside Fire Department Lifeguards at the Oceanside Harbor.
Timothy Ceballos, owner of TLC Weddings, was at the harbor, around 6:00 this morning, collecting sand dollars for his wife when he ran across the pup. It was in the rain gutter next to the sidewalk of the west parking lot. “He was just sitting in the gutter looking really sick” said Ceballos “I just started talking to it and he seemed to settle down a little.”
Kristine Torres, of Oceanside, was driving through the parking lot when she saw the pup. “I just stayed in my car because I didn’t want to frighten it.” Torres thought she may have seen the same pup beach itself, several weeks ago, on the east side of the harbor. “We called the Harbor Police non-emergency number but they just told us to call Sea World”
The Oceanside Police Department refers all reports of distressed sea life to the Sea World, San Diego, Rescue and Rehabilitation program.
Kelly Terry with Sea World said, “Our rescue team has been up to Oceanside several times the past few weeks.” continued Terry, “The lifeguards in Oceanside are really good about contacting us when they discover a distressed animal.”
“It happens a lot during pupping season.” said Oceanside Lifeguard, Brandon Cooper. “They beach themselves when they are sick. We capture them and a team from Sea World picks them up and brings them to the rehab center in San Diego.”
By 9:00 a.m., a small crowd began to gather where the pup was sitting and it moved back towards the water, on the rocks surrounding the harbor. Cooper along with along with fellow lifeguard Chris Angelotti grabbed a crate, like the ones you see for dogs, and a pole with a net on the end.
The two lifeguards navigated the boulders to where the pup was now sitting and quickly netted it to the applause of the crowd. The pup let out a loud bark but put up little resistance to being crated. A group of five adult sea lions were sunning themselves on the dock below but paid little attention to what was going on 25 feet away. Angelottti said that the lifeguards haven’t received any special training on retrieving distressed animals. “We just catch them and call Sea World.”
The Sea World team had taken possession of the animal later in morning and while they were in Oceanside, there was another report of a pup in distress. The team was investigating but there is no word if they found another pup.
Kelly Terry said that Sea World would give OsideNews an update on the pups condition and we will pass that along as soon as we get word. To learn more about the Sea World Wildlife Rescue Program visit their website [Link]