LAGUNA BEACH — An adult sea lion that narrowly escaped a Great White Sharks powerful bite is recovering comfortably at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) in Laguna Beach, Calif.
Nicknamed “Bruce” by his care takers at PMMC, the pinniped was rescued along the rocks at Emerald Bay Beach in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was suffering from severe shark bite wounds and malnourishment when PMMC volunteers found him.
“As soon as Bruce arrived, I could see huge bite wounds underneath his right front flipper and left chest area,” said Animal Care Director Michele Hunter. “You could tell from the size and pattern of the marks that it points to a Great White.”
The rescue call came in from a beachgoer, who identified the animal as large, and severely wounded. PMMC dispatched a team of rescuers-well skilled in handling large adult male sea lions, who can often exhibit tremendous strength and agility. The rescue team, lead by Animal Care Supervisor Dean Gomersall, were quick and successfully captured the injured sea lion. The team safely transported “Bruce” back to PMMC for further evaluation and treatment.
“It’s not often that we see animals inflicted with severe bite wounds, and when we do, it’s not always a happy ending,” Hunter said. “But so far, so good! Bruce is certainly proving to be almighty!”
PMMC is a resource for marine mammal patients to rest and recover, and offers rehabilitative care to any marine mammal suffering from an illness or injury. Currently, Bruce is progressing well, and is expected to return to his ocean home when his injuries have sufficiently healed and staff veterinarian Dr. Richard Evans assigns a clean bill of health.
“Bruce has certainly beaten the odds, and we look forward to sending him home again for a second chance at life,” said Executive Director Keith Matassa.”We encourage the community to come visit us and see this remarkable animal.”
For more information, visit pacificmmc.org.