REDWOOD CITY (KPIX 5) — A baby fur seal was spotted in the Peninsula and rescued by firefighters on Sunday morning.
Redwood City firefighters lassoed the northern fur seal pup as he hopped around an underground parking garage.
GET READY FOR HEARTS TO MELT: @redwoodcityfire got a surprise rescue call this morning when someone reported a baby seal inside an underground parking garage. As you can see, they safely rescued the baby, and let it nap at the firehouse until Marine Mammal Center workers arrived. pic.twitter.com/MFMfVx5bET
— Maria Medina (@MariaKPIX) November 24, 2019
But how did he get there? The garage on Marshall Street is just a few blocks from Redwood Creek. The seal likely wandered a little too far from shore. Firefighters responded to the garage after someone reported it wandering freely.
Veterinarians at the Marine Mammal Center said the pup, named “Santos,” was in decent condition and responsive but not overly active.
“Unlike a California sea lion that seeks out food sources closer to shore, this young fur seal pup should be foraging well off the continental shelf in the open ocean,” said Marine Mammal Center staff veterinarian Dr. Cara Field in an emailed statement. “Further diagnostic testing will hopefully tell us why this pup veered off course into San Francisco Bay before it came ashore. The Center is thankful for its partners at the Redwood City Police and Fire Department for helping quickly transfer this animal to a safe location to meet our trained responders Sunday morning.”
The Marine Mammal Center said the 25-pound pup is being fed a fish smoothie mixture and would later try to introduce whole herring to induce normal foraging behavior.
Officials estimate that Santos is about five months old. The estimated release date of the seal is yet to be determined.