Encinitas lifeguards have had their hands full lately with several rescue efforts as marine wildlife washes ashore.
Monday afternoon a distressed dolphin beached itself near Moonlight Beach, 10 News reported. Lifeguards doused the animal in salt water, though when Sea World employees arrived on the scene they declared the dolphin dead. Sea World officials said the older male dolphin appeared to have an infection, and a necropsy will be performed to determine the actual cause of death. As the rescue attempt was underway, a pod of concerned dolphins remained just offshore.
But Encinitas lifeguards have also seen some successful rescue efforts lately. Last week, three baby elephant seals were rescued after beaching themselves in Encinitas, KBPS reported. The scenario is fairly common this time of year. Spring is birthing season for elephant seals, and many pregnant mothers will case away their older offspring—but if the young animal hasn’t learned how to properly hunt, it becomes malnourished, eventually beaching itself on the shoreline. That’s when lifeguards can swoop in to rescue the animal.
Those rescued baby elephant seals are sent to Sea World with the goal of being nursed back to health and released back into the wild. So far this year Sea World has received 13 rescued baby elephant seals.