A pair of male fur seals rescued and nursed back to health by SeaWorld San Diego’s animal care team was returned to the ocean. Both animals were rescued in May emaciated, malnourished and dehydrated. The first of these mammals, a Guadalupe fur seal, was rescued off Imperial Beach weighing almost 15.5 pounds May 13, 2012. The other, a hybrid (mixed breed species), was rescued May 29 with a swollen rear flipper and weighing 16.5 pounds. SeaWorld veterinarians were able to treat the bulging flipper with antibiotics.
The estimated 1- and 2-year-old juveniles returned to the sea weighing 42 and 23 pounds respectively. SeaWorld animal care specialists and veterinarians treated the animals with hydration fluids and a nutrient-rich diet of capelin, sardines and herring. The seals are now healthy and able to forage for food on their own.
Research scientists from Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute outfitted each seal with a satellite transmitter. Scientists hope to track the animals’ movements at sea to learn more about where the species travels in the ocean along with perhaps why. The transmitters will likely dislodge from the fur seals when they molt in about two months. An adult male fur seal can grow to 6 feet and weigh up to 350 pounds, while females reach 4.5 feet and weigh up to 100 pounds.
A post from Aaron Hartmann, a marine biologist, describes some of diverse of ocean-related jobs out there:
Fisheries observers: Want to improve your sea legs? Fisheries observers live aboard fishing boats and ensure that the animals being harvested are big enough and not in numbers exceeding legal catch limits. Their work is critical for managing ocean harvesting in order to ensure that we don’t drive species to extinction.
Oceanographer: Open-ocean ecosystems, deep-sea communities, hydrothermal vents, oxygen minimum zones, garbage patches, currents, winds, and global seawater circulation—oceanographers do it all (not surprising given their title).
Engineers: Submarines, remote sensing buoy systems, remotely operated underwater vehicles and ocean-scanning satellites—engineers make them all. Thanks to their work, we are constantly going deeper and farther, discovering more about the ocean’s unknowns.
Aquarist: The survival of animals that live in public aquariums worldwide depends on professional aquarists. These people know more about what makes marine critters happy than anyone else, and I know this from experience. Working alongside aquarists at Birch Aquarium, I’ve learned an incredible amount about corals over the past few years.
I’ve always heard a lot about endangered species. Even seen a few pictures, but let’s be honest. The creatures that most of us see are rats, pigeons, and spiders.
Not the beauties of the animal kingdom. Which has caused me to wonder about the exotic animals on the Discovery channel. Does everything eat out of trash cans and look like rabies?
My answer came at the beach where I spotted some dolphins. In fact, I’m seeing a lot of them, nearly everyday. Which is a huge change from my childhood in the 90s, when seeing them then was like winning the lottery, maybe once a summer.
This launched me on an investigation that revealed a treasure trove in my backyard. There are nature preserves, tidal basins, wetlands, habitats, and nesting grounds.
I began noticing all sorts of animals all around me. Some that I passed by without even thinking twice. Like the birds in the picture below.
It turns out that those a few of those are an endangered species, and they are beautiful.