Back to the Ocean: 4 Rescued Sea Lions Released Into the Wild at Laguna Beach
Kendra Leak leaned over Jyn’s kennel for one final close-up look at the now fat and healthy sea lion pup. It was a huge difference from the emaciated pup she first saw after Jyn was found stranded in Newport Beach in January.
Seconds later, on Sunday morning, Leak unlocked the door to the kennel and held her breath, waiting to see if Jyn would rush out to the surf or hesitate.
Animal care staff from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center opened cage doors for three other sea lion pups – Kinsey, Syrah and Whiskers – giving them a straight shot to the surf at Aliso Beach just feet away.
More than 100 people fell silent in anticipation, but the sea lions didn’t dart out. Instead, they huddled together in front of Whiskers’ kennel. Whiskers was rehabilitated at PMMC after becoming entangled in fishing gear and rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard boat outside Newport Harbor on Jan. 14.
To the onlookers, it may have seemed like they were kissing – but really they were smelling each other’s breath.
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