SAUSALITO (CBS SF) — A sea lion that was stuck in the mud in an East Palo Alto creek and was rescued Thursday night is in critical but stable condition, a Marine Mammal Center spokeswoman said on Saturday.

The pinniped, named Verbena after she was located around Verbena Drive, was brought in to the center around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, center spokeswoman Cheryl Reiss said.

Verbena was lethargic and underweight, weighing approximately 155 pounds when she was examined upon admittance to the Sausalito-based animal care facility, Reiss said.

Upon further examination, veterinarians determined that Verbena is presumed to have leptospirosis, Reiss said, a bacterial infection that has periodic outbreaks among the sea lion population.

The bacteria can damage the animals’ kidneys, according to a post on the center’s blog, and this can cause dehydration as the kidneys fail. The disease, if caught in time, is treatable. Otherwise, it can cause irreversible kidney damage that can result in death.

As of this afternoon, the center’s volunteers were making sure that Verbena was kept hydrated.

Reiss could not comment on what other measures would be taken to nurse Verbena back to health or if she required special treatment.

“We tend to our patients night and day, no matter what,” Reiss said.

Earlier this week, a sea lion that had been rescued Aug. 17 from the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf — King Neptune — died from injuries related to a gunshot wound close to his spine.

King Neptune was euthanized Thursday night after tests determined that his condition had deteriorated significantly, according to the Marine Mammal Center.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved)


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