Marine Mammal Care Center
Los Angeles

If a Seal or Sea lion appears to be sick, injured, or in distress, you can best help by:

Be prepared to provide:

  • The location and condition of animal. 
  • Caution: Keep your distance and observe the animal from binocular range. You are too close ff the animal is watching you.

Once a rescue team arrives, hold all questions until after they have assessed the situation.

All pinnipeds,come out of the ocean to rest and sun themselves as a normal healthy activity. Therefore, not all animals on beach require medical attention.

However, ANY dolphin or whale that has become beached or stranded will need immediate assistance.

  • Do not approach or touch a dolphin or whale; it is against the law to disturb them, and they may bite if they feel threatened. Marine mammals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.
  • Do not push, chase or coax the animal back into the water.
  • Do not pour water on the animal. Pouring water on it may only further serve to debilitate a sick or injured animal.
  • Do not feed. Feeding the animal something other than what it is accustomed to may lead to illness and even death.