Malibu News
Rescued Elephant Seals To Be Released
By Shelby Stiner
Jun 12, 2013 - 12:01:51 AM

MALIBUFour elephant seals, that were beached about two months ago, will be released back into the Pacific Ocean this week in Malibu by the California Wildlife Center.

To keep the stress levels of the seals low, the release of the mammals will be closed to the public.

Canyon News spoke to Jeff Hall, the California Wildlife Center marine mammal coordinator about the animals. “During the rehabilitation process California Wildlife Center takes every precaution to reduce the amount of stress out patients experience during their recovery,” said Jeff Hall. “To reduce the overall amount of stress on the animal before release we try to keep large crowds away from the release site, as the excessive noise and activity crowds produce can be stressful," he added.

An elephant seal.

The four elephant seals were the first group of many rescued mammals to be brought to the temporary shelter at the California Wildlife Center’s headquarters in Malibu.

The temporary shelter was built to accommodate the increase of stranded marine mammals found along the Los Angeles County coast this year. According to Hall, the cause of the increase is undetermined, but remains under investigation.

Before the temporary shelter, the closest marine mammal care centers were over an hour away from Malibu in San Pedro and Laguna Beach, creating a possibly stressful van ride for the stranded mammals.

“While the animals we release are healthy, the transportation process can be stressful,” Hall said. “Additional stress can make an already sick animal even sicker.”

The California Wildlife Center is now looking for a place in the Malibu area to build a permanent shelter for the rescued mammals.

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