The Marine Mammal Center volunteers and Half Moon Bay’s Cal Fire are heroes today. They risked life and limb to rescue another sea lion with domoic acid poisoning caused by the current algae bloom. The sea lions get the toxin from the fish they eat, after the toxin has built up in the fish from ingesting the algae. Humans can get sick from eating affected shellfish, too. Currently, from Monterey to Pillar Point, there is a caution for eating shellfish and rock crab due to the risk of humans contracting amnesiac shellfish poisoning. So, be cautious of the origins of your shellfish and rock crab until the warnings have been lifted.
Learn more about domoic acid:
The Cast of Rescuers:
If ever you have lost faith in humanity, just watch the love and compassion of these men, women and kids, professionals, trained volunteers and citizen saints.
It started with four citizens.
Pam and Gary Hacker, from NYC and her two 10-year old twins, Julia and Rebecca, first noticed the sea lion on Tuesday on the beach at the base of the Ritz. They could see it acting strangely and went to the security guard, Pam, at the Ritz.
Pam Muteff, of the Ritz, hailed The Marine Mammal Center.
If you see a sick or injured marine mammal please call The Marine Mammal Center’s 24-hour rescue hotline: 415-289-SEAL.
The Marine Mammal Center responders
On the beach directly below the Ritz Carlton, trained responders from The Marine Mammal Center worked to get the 285 pound adult male California sea lion secured into a stainless steel carrier. Once secured, the team from CalFire took over the task of getting the distressed sea lion down the beach and up the stairwell through a series of pulleys.
While the two teams worked to get the animal safely in the truck for his trip to the Center’s Sausalito hospital, the visiting family from New York decided on a name for the sick animal, Garymoon.
Garymoon is currently under veterinary care, being treated for domoic acid toxicosis and is enjoying his daily feeds of herring.