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Seaworld Returns Fur Seal to Ocean Home

22nd June 2019 - 12:30pm



SeaWorld San Diego returned a rescued-and-rehabilitated Guadalupe fur seal back to its ocean home for a second chance at life on Friday 14th June 2019. The animal—who was rescued on 18th April 2019 in Coronado, California after being found emaciated and wounded—was outfitted with a satellite transmitter by a scientist from The Marine Mammal Center (The Center) in Sausalito, California, in conjunction with SeaWorld’s Rescue Team and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). SeaWorld San Diego and The Center are the only two facilities on the west coast of the USA permitted to rehabilitate this threatened species. Researchers hope to gain crucial data about where the animal travels, spends time foraging for food, and ultimately thrives in the ocean over the next four months.


The male Guadalupe fur seal, estimated to be two years old, was found lethargic, and with several wounds and abrasions to his body. The animal was also emaciated, weighing just 12kg (27 lbs). Animal caretakers at SeaWorld’s Animal Health and Rescue Center treated the seal with fluids, antibiotics and supportive care, which included a nutrient-rich diet of capelin, sardines and herring. The seal’s weight more than doubled to 25kg (56 lbs) while in SeaWorld’s care, and he demonstrated the ability to forage for food on his own.


So far in 2019, SeaWorld San Diego’s Rescue Team has cared for more than 550 ill, injured and stranded marine animals, including sea lions, seals, turtles and birds. SeaWorld parks have rescued more than 35,000 animals over the last 55 years.


Fur seal facts:

  • Since its recovery from the brink of extinction in the early 1900s, the population of Guadalupe fur seals, thanks to conservation efforts, has swelled to approximately 35,000.
  • The Guadalupe fur seal is one of the least studied fur seal species.  
  • An adult male fur seal can grow to more than 6 feet and weigh up to 500 pounds. Females reach 5 feet and weigh up to 150 pounds.

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