Gregarious Yet Malnourished Sea Lion Pup Hops into UCLA Boat, Highlighting Marine Mammal Struggles

Gregarious Yet Malnourished Sea Lion Pup Hops into UCLA Boat, Highlighting Marine Mammal Struggles

During an early morning rowing practice at Marina del Ray, UCLA sophomore Logan Hibbard and her teammates experienced a delightful yet concerning surprise.

A baby sea lion, visibly malnourished, sprang from the water and into Hibbard’s boat, nuzzling up against the rowers and sparking both joy and concern among the crew.

A Friendly Visitor

Hibbard described the encounter with the young sea lion to KTVU, sharing how the creature hopped onto the bow deck of one of the boats and then made its way to her vessel. Despite the unexpected visit, Hibbard remained calm.

“Honestly, I tried to be really calm,” she said. “It was just a baby sea lion. He was really, really friendly.” Her composure seemed to soothe the sea lion, who appeared content and even attempted to rest in her lap.

Bru: The Baby Sea Lion

The team quickly grew fond of their new companion, affectionately naming him “Bru” after the UCLA Bruins.

While the rowers took pictures and enjoyed the unexpected company, it soon became apparent that something was wrong. The sea lion was drowsy and seemed weak, prompting the team to take swift action.

Recognizing the Problem

Hibbard and her teammates noticed Bru’s lethargy and realized he needed help. They wrapped him in towels and brought him to shore, contacting the Marine Mammal Care Center in Los Angeles for assistance.

The center’s CEO, John Warner, explained that Bru was “desperate” and hypothermic, likely huddling against Hibbard for warmth after being in the cold water.

The Reality of Marine Mammal Struggles

Warner highlighted the severity of Bru’s condition, noting that a sea lion approaching humans is unnatural behavior, driven by extreme need.

“An animal coming onto a platform that people are present on is not natural. They don’t seek out people,” he stated, commending the rowers for not pushing Bru back into the water, which could have been fatal.

Alarming Health Condition

Warner estimated Bru’s age to be between nine and eleven months, but the pup was only the size of a newborn.

“That’s the alarming part of his health condition,” Warner said. “He should be about three or four times the size he is now.” This stunted growth underscored the critical need for intervention and rehabilitation.

Hopes for Recovery

Hibbard expressed her hopes for Bru’s full recovery, wishing for the sea lion to return to the wild and thrive.

“I just hope that he’s able to fully recover eventually and, hopefully, go back where he belongs and keep swimming and practicing with us in Marina Del Rey,” she told KCBS.

Conclusion: A Heartwarming but Cautionary Tale

The encounter with Bru serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by marine mammals. While the story of the baby sea lion hopping into a UCLA rower’s boat is heartwarming, it also highlights the urgent need for marine conservation efforts.

The quick actions of Hibbard and her team, coupled with the expertise of the Marine Mammal Care Center, offer hope for Bru’s recovery and emphasize the importance of awareness and intervention in protecting vulnerable wildlife.

TDPel Media

This article was published on TDPel Media. Thanks for reading!

Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn

Advertisement: Download Vital Signs App (VS App)