Since its incorporation in 1975, The Marine Mammal Center’s trained volunteer and veterinary staff have treated thousands of marine mammals and released them back to the ocean. The Marine Mammal Center is a private, non-profit organization licensed by the federal government to rescue and rehabilitate stranded marine mammals from Mendocino County south through San Luis Obispo County. Annually, our organization works with more animals than any other marine mammal rehabilitation/research facility in the world. Our objectives are to return the patients, as wild animals in a healthy state, to their natural environment, to collect valuable veterinary data for the scientific community, and to educate the public about marine mammals, conservation, and ocean pollution. In 2005 The Marine Mammal Center began rebuilding its hospital, and as of June 15, 2009, our state-of-the-art facility is back open for public viewing on a daily basis from 10 am to 5 pm. For more information about The Marine Mammal Center, visit our web-site at www.marinemammalcenter.org.
What to Expect on Your Visit to the Marine Mammal Center
Lead your group through a self-guided visit of the Marine Mammal Center’s public areas. Exhibits throughout the facility will inform your group about our work. Enjoy viewing seal and sea lion patients. Look into key areas such as the Fish Kitchen, Chart Room, Laboratory and Post-Mortem (optional). Depending on patient care activities you may be able to watch animal care crews in action doing food preparation and medical charting, and see technicians doing laboratory analyses. Docents will be available to help with questions at our Information Desk, and possibly in other areas.
There is an average of 30 animals at our facility for public viewing. There are seasonal fluctuations in the patient population, with March – November being the peak season to see patients. Species in public view generally include California sea lions, harbor seals, and northern elephant seals.
Group Size and Chaperones
We limit group size because we want to reduce disturbances to the animals from the noise and commotion associated with larger groups. There must be adequate adult supervision for children 18 years and under. A good guideline is at least one adult for every five children. Each group of 10 to 30 individuals should have a separate reservation.
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