While paddling offshore a couple miles outside of La Jolla a decade or so ago, I came across a large pregnant female sea lion that seemed to be struggling to keep her head up and breathe.
This was the year that many adults, especially pregnant females, were becoming sick and stranded due to toxic plankton blooms getting into the bait fish.
I dug my cell phone out of the dry bag and called Scripps. I was told to call SeaWorld and given the number, so I did. I was informed that SeaWorld couldn’t come out and were dealing with the sick seals as they stranded on the beaches and did not want to deal with it in the water. I knew this animal would not survive.
San Diego city lifeguards are petitioning state wildlife officials to be allowed to rescue entangled whales off the local coast. Though the lifeguards have cut a couple whales free this past year, it is against regulations, as they are supposed to “stand down” and let SeaWorld, or other rescue organizations, handle the situation. But SeaWorld’s rescuers aren’t always able to get to the scene in time, or sometimes, for several hours.