Malibu, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/03/2015 --The recent arrival of a sea lion pup at California Wildlife Center (CWC) marked two important milestones for the organization. Not only is it the Malibu-based CWC's 40,000th animal rescue, but also one of the first sea lions (along with 19 others rescued since then) to be rehabilitated at the Center's own facilities. Previously, sea lion rescues were transported to a facility in San Pedro, Calif.
"Having the ability to provide rehabilitative care to sea lions right here at our facilities means the world to us, especially in light of an unusually high amount of pups in need of rescue this year," says CWC Board President Victoria Harris. "The more patients that are admitted here or to facilities like ours, the more chances there are for successful releases."
The 20 sea lion pups will be calling CWC home for at least the next six to eight weeks. Currently being nourished using a feeding tube three times a day, the emaciated pups weighed only 20 pounds when they were admitted and need heating units to help stay warm. Once they get closer to a healthy weight, they will have the run of the facility's brand-new pools. A dedicated Marine Mammal Manager, one of the center's few on-staff employees, oversees their care, much of which is performed by many volunteers.
"Our staff is small, so we depend greatly on our volunteers," says Harris. "Without them, what we do at California Wildlife Center would not be possible."
CWC's philosophy of "rescue, rehabilitate and release" has been helping save animal lives since its first rescue, a red- tailed hawk, in June 1998. Since then, the organization has grown to accommodate more than 150 species, including fawns and coyotes, for which it is the only facility to offer rehabilitation services in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. As CWC does not receive any municipal, state or federal funding, its operation relies entirely on grants and donations as well as its tireless volunteers.
"We couldn't do any of this without our volunteers, who collectively contribute over 24,000 hours to the center each year. It's not all fun and games," continues Harris. "Rescuing and caring for these animals is tough and sometimes very dirty work. But being able to release them back to their natural environment makes all the hard work worthwhile."
About California Wildlife Center
California Wildlife Center (CWC) is a non-profit organization that takes responsibility for the protection of all native wildlife through rehabilitation, education and conservation. CWC is committed to creating a healthy sustainable planet that values all life.
For more information about California Wildlife Center, visit http://www.cawildlife.org/index.php/faqs