The best thing you can do if you see an animal that you think has
been abandoned or beached in the Monterey area is to note its
condition and appearance. Then call the S.P.C.A. of Monterey County
The Marine Mammal Center
at Moss Landing (633-6298).
On the Monterey Peninsula, we have wonderful opportunities to
observe and enjoy many species of marine mammals that live quite
close to us. While you do, please consider these basic facts:
- Marine Mammals on the beach should be left alone because:
- Harbor seal mothers often leave their pups ashore while they
are out feeding. As long as anyone is within sight near the pup,
the mother will not return.
- Sea lions often haul out because they are suffering from
disease. Throwing cold water on them will only make them worse
or even kill them.
- Young elephant seals occasionally come ashore for a few days
at a time. They can go for long periods without breathing and
often appear sick because they are so inactive. This is normal
behavior for these animals.
- Sea otter pups are left floating on the surface of the water
while the mothers dive for food. A lone pup should be watched but
not picked up, as the chances of survival without the mother are
- Marine Mammals carry diseases and parasites communicable to
people and pets.
- They do bite and can inflict serious wounds.
- It is a felony to disturb these animals in any way. This
includes feeding, petting or even being near them. You can be
liable for heavy penalties -- $10,000 per count plus one year in
|| Glossary ||
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Last updated December 23, 1998.