MONTECITO — A Good Samaritan/marine wildlife lover was surprised last week when he spotted an unusual sight: a seal sleeping peacefully on the deck of the Miramar Beach house next door in Montecito.
“This woman arrived during high tide two nights ago and made her way up the steps next door,” the resident, who declined to be identified in this story, told the News-Press about the seal.
Rather than do nothing, and concerned for her welfare, he did the responsible thing: He alerted the authorities.
“Wildlife EMTs came here the morning after and returned her to the sea,” he said. “She went north close by the coast where I said to an EMT that there are nicer houses.
“Seals and sea lions are in front of our house rarely, so it’s because of either white sharks or not feeling well,” he said.
The EMTS he mentioned were sent by the Gaviota branch of the Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute. They urge people who spot stranded seals and sea lions to contact authorities rather than try to help the animals themselves. (For more about the institute, see cimiwi.org.)
There are reports of marine wildlife coming ashore recently, possibly because of an increase in sharks in the area.
– Neil Hartstein