Mother and pup receive protection from marine institute
The Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute is protecting a sea lion pup and its mother at the Santa Barbara Harbor.
The pup was born around midnight Sunday on the boat launch ramp, and the pair have stayed on the ramp as they bond.
The ramp is an unusual choice of birthplace, as sea lions usually give birth in rookeries on the Channel Islands.
The marine institute taped off a perimeter around the boat launch with the permission of the Santa Barbara Waterfront Department and Harbor Patrol.
The busy location could prove dangerous for the pup, so the institute is warning passersby to keep their distance and lower voices to avoid stressing the sea lions.
Eventually, the mother will leave to look for food for a few days, and the pup will look abandoned. But the female will return, calling for her pup and also searching for the pup’s scent.
If anyone disturbs the pup, the mom could reject her child.
The pair may exhibit behavior humans seem odd, like vocalizing for long periods of time.
The marine institute is monitoring the pair and reports healthy signs thus far.
The institute encourages people to call its hotline at 805-567-1505 if they observe a threat to the sea lions. Additionally, community members can call the hotline if they find a distressed marine animal.
For more about the institute, go to cimwi.org.