Back in April I got the amazing chance to visit The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. Located in the Marin Headlands with a gorgeous view of Rodeo Beach, The Marine Mammal Center is making a difference by rescuing and rehabilitating marine mammals, as well as educating and researching. Open to the public, this is a place that will have you walking out feeling different about wildlife.
(I was invited to The Marine Mammal Center as a Dawn Wildlife Ambassador. Any opinions are 100% my own.)
The Marine Mammal Center is open daily from 10am-4pm. Admission is free and you have the option of taking docent-led and audio tours for an additional charge. You can observe the patients at The Marine Mammal Center from the Viewing Deck, as the staff and volunteers care for them. We got the chance to walk around the gated off pools to get a closer look at the different seals there.
Let me tell you, it was SO hard not to talk to them in adorable voices. The seals would waddle up to the fence peeking at us through the chain link holes. Making noises and calling to use to get our attention. We were given strict instructions not to engage the adopting a seal. The main purpose of The Marine Mammal Center is to rehabilitate so they can go back out in to the wild. They do not want to friend or train the mammals as that would hurt their chances of success when returning to the ocean.
An army’s amount of work goes into caring for the mammals at The Marine Mammal Center everyday. From feeding, to administering medicines, to cleaning wounds, and repeat. A team of now over 1,100 volunteers have been making this happen since 1975. They aren’t just helping marine mammals here at home, they are also teaching others who turn around and take what they’ve learned back to their country to help make a difference.
While we were there, we watched meds be administered to a seal. They take great care in this process both for themselves, and for the seals. Several people are involved to make sure everything goes correctly, because one wrong move could mean injury to the seal, the vet, or the volunteers.
Another thing we experienced while at The Marine Mammal Center was the making of Fish Milk Shakes. There are volunteers who sole duty is to grind up fish for milk shakes, and clean up the aftermath. Because of the amount of patients, as soon as they finish, it’s time to start all over again for the next meal.
The work being done at The Marine Mammal Center is more impressive than I can put into words. Not only the amount of animals being rehabilitated but also the amount of people donating their time to do it. If you live in the area, please stop by and pay them a visit – I promise you won’t regret it. If you don’t live nearby you can help by adopting a seal! You will receive an adoption certificate and year membership, and you will be helping thousands of patients get a second chance.