Sea lions are loved and adored by many people all over the world. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize sea lions have been endangered for years. Last year, there were approximately 900 sea lions stranded on the beaches of North America’s western cost. This year, there are over 3,000! Most of these sea lions are pups and about 70% of them are expected to die without assistance. To help decrease these numbers, non-profit organizations like the Marine Mammal Care Center specialize in saving and protecting marine animals. Nearly 1,171 sea lions have been rescued from the months of January to April 2015. Sea lions are being saved and released frequently, and with the help of these organizations they will hopefully continue to live long and healthy lives.
Turtle Back Zoo is proud to support sea lion rehabilitation efforts. This June, the Zoo will be sending their esteemed veterinarian, Dr. Jon Bergmann, to California to volunteer his services for sick and injured sea lions. He will be assisting with direct animal care with a goal of healthy releases back into the wild.
Dr. Bergmann has been working with the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ for over two years. He is a New Jersey native who followed in his veterinarian father’s footsteps, due to his love for animals. In 2014, Dr. Bergmann traveled to the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, California, to assist with a stranded sea lion affectionately known as Tipper. Tipper failed to thrive on her own and Dr. Bergmann secured her safe transit to Turtle Back Zoo. Tipper now resides happily in the Zoo’s Sea Lion Sound exhibit.
Dr. Bergmann’s passion for exotic animals will hopefully help bring awareness to the ailing sea lions across the nation. Stay tuned for updates on Dr. Bergmann’s latest sea lion rescue travels!