A sea lion pup was found wandering the busy streets of San Francisco on Thursday. Rescuers say once Rubbish the sea lion fattens up, the rescue center will take him back to his ocean home once again.
According to the Washington Post, the sea lion pup was spotted hiding under a car in San Francisco’s Marine neighborhood early Thursday morning. Within an hour of being discovered, the Marine Mammal Center, with help from local police, rescued the adorable male sea lion.
This is not the first time this particular sea lion pup has been found wandering around. After taking the male sea lion to the center Thursday, staff realized they had dealings with him before. On February 8, the male sea lion was rescued in Santa Barbara County and brought to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, according to KRON 4. The person who originally found him on the streets just five weeks prior to the current rescue nicknamed him “Rubbish.” When he was found in February, Rubbish was 8-months-old and weighed 30 pounds. Staff treated him for malnutrition and pneumonia. On March 23, after having been nursed back to health, rescuers released Rubbish at the Point Reyes National Seashore.
In the time since his first rescue, the sea lion pup has lost the 17 pounds he gained during his first stay at the Marine Mammal Center.
On Friday, the Marine Mammal Center provided an update on Rubbish via Twitter. Staff reports they will once again try to fatten him up and send him back to his ocean home.
We’re just doing what needs doing. We’ll do our best to fatten him up and send him back to his ocean home 🙂 @TidePoolTweets@TMMC
— Marine Mammal Center (@TMMC) May 1, 2015
As the Inquisitr has reported, Rubbish is not California’s first wandering sea lion. Earlier this month, another sea lion pup was caught “trespassing” at a San Diego high school.
Rubbish is part of a growing problem in California. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates 2,700 sea lion pups have been stranded in the state so far in 2015, causing the agency to declare an Unusual Mortality Event. According to NOAA, a variety of reasons can cause sea lion pups to strand, including illness, injury, and weather/ocean conditions. NOAA says the agency is unsure what is causing the increase in sea lion pup stranding in 2015, but one factor the agency will continue to monitor is the shortage of available prey.
[Image via The Washington Post/Marine Mammal Center]