Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Would You Leave Your Baby in the Front of a Supermarket to go Forage for Food? You Would if You Were a Hip European Mom or a California Sea Lion…



Marine Mammal Center's Baby Sea Lion
Photo credit: Ingrid Overgard
Remember that poor mom, a tourist from somewhere in Northern Europe, who left her sleeping baby in her stroller outside of a supermarket here in the USA and went in and did her grocery shopping... 

When she came out, someone had called the cops and she was arrested for deserting her child!

Well, apparently, this what you DO in these Northern European countries when you are a single mom with child. 

You tuck the baby’s pram safely in front of the store, and off you go to forage in the cheesy-puff and Greek yogurt aisles. Filling your basket with the necessary goodies to bring back to your baby and filling your own belly in the process.

Just like a California sea lion.

It’s pupping season here in California, and mommy sea lions are leaving their babies all over the beaches to go forage for food and then hopefully come back and give them a delicious regurgitated fish milkshake, full of all the vitamins and minerals and fats a little, fuzzy one needs for the day.

Which is all very normal in the sea lion cycle. Until a well-meaning but un-trained in the ways of sea creatures human gets involved and tries to rescue the adorable little sea lion. The Bay Area based Marine Mammal Center, a rehab center, encourages beach-goers to  "Leave Seals Be!" If you find one all by itself, call their hotline: (415) 289-SEAL to bring in a professional to assess the little guy's situation.

On a related note, however, a massive stranding of baby sea lions is going on this particular season in Southern California, with almost 1,000 stranded this year compared to 100 last year. Our Marine Mammal Center has taken in a giant gaggle of these displaced and hungry little guys and is BURSTING at the seams with sea lion pups right now.

So now’s a GREAT time to get in to see the giant nursery of flippery babies and help donate fish so they can have a chance to enjoy that delicious fish milkshake and have a chance for rehabilitation and hopeful reintroduction to where they belong – back in the wild!

We are thankful for places like The Marine Mammal Center for taking care of Mother Nature’s creatures.

Namaste & Three Cheers! –OM

More Links:
Go and Visit the Marine Mammal Center here! marinemammalcenter.org
More info on the strandings this year here: noaa.gov

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