North Coast Marine Mammal Center


On an average year, the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center rescues between 30 and 60 stranded marine mammals per year. The NMMC has rescued 732 marine mammals since 1988, and has rescued over 100 animals per year during 2009 and 2010. The most common patients at the Center have been California sea lions, which have accounted for 39% of all rescues between 1988 ‚Äď 2009. Pacific harbor seals have been the second most commonly rescued marine mammal and account for 35% of rescues, followed by Northern elephant seals (23%). Other species that the Center has rescued include Northern fur seals, Steller sea lions, and Guadalupe fur seals. Steller sea lions and Guadalupe fur seals are both listed as ‚ÄúThreatened‚ÄĚ under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Northern fur seals are designated as ‚ÄúDepleted‚ÄĚ under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Current Rescues

NMMC 2015 Patient List

Its the middle of August already! We’ve had a very busy season having rescued 50 pinnipeds so far, and that doesn’t include the dozens we have monitored in the wild. Currently at the center we have:

  1. Gilly Р juvenile Northern Elephant Seal
  2. Happy – Pacific Harbor Seal pup
  3. Moe Р juvenile California Sea Lion
  4. Jinx – Pacific Harbor Seal pup
  5. Snickers – Pacific Harbor Seal pup
  6. Pooshy – Northern Elephant Seal pup

We are happy to report all our current patients are doing well and we anticipate a successful release in their future!

2015 NMMC Patients

Our Patients

Huey, Sailor, Hank, and Chilly were released two weeks ago at Pebble Beach. While the people gathered on a rainy afternoon were chilled to the bone, all the California Sea Lions released bounded energetically into the surf with only shivers of excitment visible. Volunteers who counted the seconds stated it took the four of them “…about a half a second to gather together and touch noses and then about 4 seconds to scamper into the waves!”

It has been a busy couple weeks at the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center with the rescue truck heading out on several local and distant rescue runs to pick up pinnipeds. We now have several Northern Elephant Seal ‘weaners’, two California Sea Lion pups, and one Pacific Harbor Seal pup in rehabilitative care at the center.

Please see the attached ‘virtual kiosk’ posting to see a little bit of information on our pinniped patients. As always visitors are always welcome to the center. The information you’ll see in the attachment is the same as we post outside the Gift Store for public information.

Kiosk Animals — 2 Apr 2015

PHS Harper — USCG Dorado Mooring

Our thanks to the Jessie and the crewmen of the USCG Dorado, moored in Crescent City, California for calling the center this morning to report a small, abandoned, barely moving little grey seal.  Under observation by the crewmembers during the morning hours, the pup had not moved and no mother Pacific Harbor Seal was seen nearby nor attempting to reach or care for it.

After assessing the little pup NMMC personnel decided to at least relocate him away from the gunwale of the USCG Auxiliary’s ‘on-call’ 29 foot Search and Rescue boat. ¬†He had chosen the USCG’s¬†emergency jet dock as his home! After determining¬†his weight to be low, he was taken to the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center by a volunteer and admitted with a rehabilitation feeding program to begin immediately.

Hospital staff think it is possible that little “Harper” was born last night on the jet dock and the mother, finding herself in a more trafficked area than she initially thought she was in abandoned him. He is¬†a newborn. The birthing event¬†was simply not noticed by the USCG crew because darkness hid him until the daylight sun made recognition of his position easy.

Please see the following photos for Harpers position on the jet dock prior to rescue and his new home at the NMMC!!

Harper Rescue 2 Harper Rescue 3


Harper Rescue 1  Harper 1   Harper 4

CSL Jason — Powerline Beach

Jason, a young adult California Sea Lion, was rescued from Powerline Beach, a mile and a half South of the Samoa Cookhouse, last Friday. Jason was reported to be beached and suffering from a severe bite consistent with a shark predation event. Transfer to the center was made last Friday evening. Jason is currently eating herring three times a day. Dr. Dennis Wood, DVM stated he has a good chance at full recovery.


Huey — CSL Restrand

Huey, a one and a half year old CSL, was brought in from Humboldt county last week. He was underweight and had restranded. All NOAA Stranding Network pinnipeds who are released receive a small “rototag” in one flipper. Like an earlobe, this placement does not injure an animal, but allow animal “rehab” volunteers like us at the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center to recognize an animal who hasn’t fully adjusted to their native habitat. Huey’s tag indicates that he swam all the way from San Diego, California where he was released as a pup a year ago in hopes he would join a rookery in Baja California.

See pictures of Huey below.

Huey, Hank & Chilly -- 17 Feb 15Huey at ramp -- 17 Feb 15Huey -- 17 Feb 15

Beaver to HWCC

During our annual volunteer training session Hospital Director Janet Dickey received a call from our sister animal-care organization in Humboldt county, Humboldt Wildlife Care Center. HWCC had received a call of a ‘downed’ beaver on Kellog Road North of Crescent City. Several volunteers scrambled out to talk with the reporting party, collect the bedraggled beaver, and arrange transport back to HWCC. Doing the later were NMMC Volunteers Alejandro and Emily. Thanks to Clay and his wife for calling in this animals plight to HWCC and to HWCC for being there to care for this beaver.


Beaver called in by Clay on near the end of Kellogg Road on 8 Feb 15.

Beaver called in by Clay on near the end of Kellogg Road on 8 Feb 15.

NMMC animal care volunteers work to gently transfer beaver into carrier for transfer to HWCC.

NMMC animal care volunteers work to gently transfer beaver into carrier for transfer to HWCC.

CSL’s — Hank & Chilly




Two California Sea Lion pups were rescued earlier this weekend.

One CSL pup, Chili, showed an orange tag indicating that he’d been previously rehabilitated and released. This is the second trip for him to a Stranding Network center, albeit hundreds of miles North of where he was initially released. This is a critical time for him for two reasons; 1) He was not successful once released from TMMC in Sausalito and was picked up at Trinidad State Beach extremely malnourished, and 2) He is extremely conditioned to being around people. He actively tracks and follows staff here. To help Chili, during his stay with us at the NMMC he’ll be kept away from the public at all times and staff are vigorously self-policing themselves against ‘habituation’.

A second CSL pup, Hank, was picked up here in Crescent City, California.

As of this update, Monday, 9 Feb 15, both CSLs have begun eating fish. They were spotted this evening resting side by side on top of their carrier/shelter in our quarantine compound.

Chilly -- 17 Feb 15Chilly on Ramp -- 16 Feb 15Chilly & Hank -- 17 Feb 15


CSL Pup “Sailor”

Heating pads are good on cold Northern California days!!

A heating pad, a pool to swim in, and professional volunteers to feed and care for Sailor are now this little California Sea Lions routine.

Rescued from Trinidad State Beach and transferred to the NMMC on 30 Jan 15. Sailor, a female CSL pup, was emaciated. Initially given electrolytes she is now “free-feeding” and eating fish on her own!

Sailor is looking good!

Sailor looking good!

Heating pads are good on  chilly Northern California days.

Sometimes it is all about ones’ perspective!!

Elephant Seal “Weaners”

Over the last two weeks the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center has welcomed 15 Elephant Seal “weaners.” Weaners are Elephant Seals who have been ‘weaned’ from their mothers’ milk, still may not be familiar with how to catch fish or even know what fish are.

Weaner Elephant Seals currently in residence in the Center’s outdoors pens include:

Violet (Point Saint George rescue)
Jelly Bean
Andy Irons

(This article will be updated asap when complete information is available!)

Violet and Taco

We brought in two more Elephant Seal weaners yesterday. Violet is the one from Point St. George and Taco is the one from right in front of Battery Point Lighthouse, close to the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center (NMMC).

Taco is a big boy at around 110 lbs.

Previous Rescues

Coolio Moves to Pittsburgh Zoo

“Coolio” is OFFICIALLY being transferred to Pittsburgh Zoo!! The necessary paperwork was filed on 03.27.2014. We had a visitor, Paul Moyett, the Assistant Curator of Aquatic Animals for PPG Aquarium (Pittsburgh Zoo) the last week in March. Paul was sent to observe “Coolio”.

“Coolio’s” trainers have already been “skyped” in to see a few of his feeds this week, and are anxiously anticipating his arrival. He will spend the rest of his days in a 276,000 gallon pool! Coolio will be transported in a cage used for polar bears and shipped via FedEx. (FedEx transports most zoo animals across the¬†country.)

“Coolio” is the first Northern Elephant Seal in an aquarium/zoo in the US!¬†

The Crescent City Triplicate ran a great article about Coolio on 1 April, 2014. You can read it by clicking on the following link:

Coolio Triplicate Article — 1 Apr 14 — 1 of 2

Coolio Triplicate Article — 1 Apr 14 — 2 of 2


Animal Name: Scratchy
Admit Date: 6/17/12
Admit Weight: 98 lbs
Current Weight: 173 lbs
Released Date: July 29, 2012
Progress Notes: Scratchy is a weaned elephant seal who was rescued from Bunker Hill Road Beach in Samoa. He was brought in because he was underweight.  Scratchy was successfully rehabilitated and released on July 29, 2012 at Pebble Beach in Crescent City.








Animal Name: Suroth
Admit Date: 5/27/12
Admit Weight: 104 lbs
Current Weight: 160 lbs
Released Date: 07/01/12

Progress Notes: Suroth is a weaned elephant seal who was restranded from The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.  She was picked up at Hostel Beach just north of Klamath, underweight and lethargic. Suroth was released on July 1st, on Pebble Beach in Crescent City.





Animal Name: Wilson
Admit Date: 5/12/12
Admit Weight: 20.5 lbs
Current Weight: 74 lbs
Released Date: July 29, 2012
Progress Notes: Wilson is a Pacific harbor seal pup who was picked up on Wilson Creek Beach because he ‚Äúappeared‚ÄĚ to be abandoned. It is completely normal for pups to left on the beach while the mother goes out to forge for food. It is important NOT to pick up any marine mammal; it is highly illegal. Please call North Coast Marine Mammal Center first!!

Wilson was released with Bongela and Georgia on July 29 on Pebble beach in Crescent City.




Animal Name: Bongela
Admit Date: 5/8/12
Admit Weight: 18 lbs
Current Weight: 51 lbs
Released Date: July 29, 2012
Progress Notes: Bongela is a Pacific harbor seal pup who was picked up on Indian beach in Trinidad because he had severe lacerations and punctures to his face, and his breathing was labored.¬† Bongela had been attacked by a dog, and is a good example of why dogs should be leashed on beaches where seal pups are found.¬† Bongela’s face healed well, and he was released on July 29th with Wilson and Georgia.




Animal Name: Sully
Admit Date: 4/16/12
Admit Weight:12.9 lbs
Current Weight: N/A
Released Date:
Progress Notes:  Sully is a Pacific harbor seal pup who was originally seen on a private beach in Manila.  He was taken to the Center after some well-meaning citizens had taken him home for a couple of days and tried to feed him using goats milk, which is not the ideal food for harbor seal pups. He also seems too habituated to humans.

Unfortunately, Sully had an umbilical infection and he passed away after several days of treatment.



Animal Name: Gunther
Admit Date: 4/14/12
Admit Weight:23.5 lbs
Current Weight: N/A
Released Date: 07/01/12
Progress Notes: Gunther is a Pacific harbor seal pup who was found on the mud flats of Arcata marsh, and was rescued because he appeared to be stranded in the mud and had some eye discharge.

Gunther was successfully rehabilitated, and was released on July 1st with Shaggy and Ranger.




Animal Name: Georgia
Admit Date: 4/14/12
Admit Weight:13 lbs
Current Weight: 51 lbs
Released Date: July 29, 2012
Progress Notes:
Georgia is a Pacific harbor seal pup who was observed for more than 12 hours at Samoa beach, and was brought in to the Center because she was barely responsive and had pale gums.  She was successfully rehabilitated, and was released on July 29th along with Wilson and Bongela.





Animal Name: Rascal
Admit Date: 4/10/12
Admit Weight:26 lbs
Current Weight: N/A
Released Date:
Progress Notes:
Rascal is an endangered Guadalupe fur seal, who re-stranded from The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.  He was rescued at Powerline Beach in Arcata because he was skinny, lethargic, and following people and dogs.

Update: Rascal was transferred back to The Marine Mammal Center on April 14, where he will undergo further rehabilitation before he will be released. He will be paired up with another Guadalupe fur seal at The Marine Mammal Center, and the two will be released at the same time.






Animal Name: Nautica
Admit Date: 4/7/12
Admit Weight:14 lbs
Current Weight: N/A
Released Date:

Progress Notes:
Our first female Pacific harbor seal pup of the season, Nautica was rescued from Table Bluff beach in Humboldt County.  Volunteers kept watch on her for three days, before bringing her in due to deteriorating health and slight dehydration.

Update:  Unfortunately Nautica passed away on April 16th, as a result of infection from bite wounds she sustained prior to rescue.

Report a Distressed marine Mammal 707-465-6265

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