Friends take care of stranded sea animals

Sea mammals and birds that run into difficulties off the California coast due to weather, heavy seas, and other problems find friends to help them at the Union Oil Marine Animal Care Center at Marineland.

The months of January through March are particularly uncomfortable times for any of these creatures that may be weak and have troubles finding food. Seal pups that were born last May or June are now being weaned and left to fend for themselves by their mothers, and some are not too good at it.

So far this winter a large number of elephant seals and even a northern fur seal pup -- rare to southern California waters -- have been given food and comfort at the care center.

Workers are on hand to keep kennels cleaned, supply food, and take care of the stranded animals.

During the past two years that the clinic has been in existence, many small whales, dolphins, sea lions, seals, and birds have received personalized attention there. The public may observe the work and research which goes on.

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