Unlike Sea World or zoo, the seals and sea lions in the center are not used for entertainment purposes. Instead, most of them are ill and injured animals that require medical attention and rehabilitation. As such, they are housed in pools behind fences away from close contact with humans. However, visitors will still be able to observe the animals safely from a distance. Such an arrangement is critical for the center whose ultimate goal is to release the animals back into the wild once their health has been fully restored.
The number of creatures at the center fluctuates annually and seasonally. The animal count could range from a few hundred to about a thousand marine mammals per year. Depending on climatic changes, it could increase or decrease the number of distressed animals being washed ashore. Some of these factors include warmer waters and spike in the water’s radiation level, all of which might affect female sea lions ability to hunt for prey and care for their young. On average, there are also more rescued animals during late winter and early spring. This is because seal pups typically wean themselves off their mother during this period, and they become more prone to suffer from malnourishment and dehydration among other medical conditions.
Visitors can expect to see the marine mammals exhibiting their natural behavior at the center’s outdoor pools. Because they have not been professionally trained, they will not be able to perform typical crowd-pleasing acts such as balancing balls on their noses or jumping through hoops. Instead, it is more likely to find them swimming and frisking around with one another given that they are known for their social behavior and playfulness. Informative displays are available around the center to educate the public about these marine animals.
Since the center is wholly privately funded, it relies on its team of regular volunteers to run the center from caring for the animals to manning the gift shop. It is likely that visitors will be greeted by one of the enthusiastic volunteers during their visit. These volunteers tend to be more than happy to explain not only the history and mission of the center, but also to share stories of the rescued animals that are present onsite.
For close up views of the animals, there is a 24-hour live streaming video from one of the center’s pools. Hosted on its website, visitors will get uninterrupted intimate views of the rescued animals at different times of the day. There are also videos of staff and volunteers releasing rehabilitated wild animals back into the ocean posted on YouTube. Get ready to ooh and aah at the health transformation of these adorable creatures as they leap on the beach.
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