Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Words On A Wednesday: OReilly


There's no walking the beach here during regular high and low tides. So, we always love when there's a minus tide. We get to take walks on parts of the beach that are usually inaccessible. The cliffs are high, and the tides go farther and farther out. There are tide pools and lots of beach to explore. We went out early Saturday afternoon to walk south to New Brighton Beach. I think it might be a little more than a mile or so to get there.
My twin brother, Roger, and I headed out to enjoy the beautiful sunny warm weather we've been having here. It was grand. We saw lots of fossils, wave-polished glass, and beautiful shells everywhere. We walked and walked, talked and talked, and that's when I noticed it. A seal washed up on the beach by the cliff. It was not moving at all. It looked dead. As I got closer, I saw flies on it. I thought how much of a bummer it must have been for this creature to end up here on the beach between Capitola and New Brighton. I got a little closer and that's when I saw it. Its heart was beating beating beating in its furry chest. Thump thump thump. I couldn't believe. This poor seal was still alive. It broke my heart. So, of course I went into rescue mode. I called Native Animal Rescue, listened to their recording and found out that I needed to call Marine Mammal Rescue. Googled around and found their number.
Someone actually answered the phone there on a Saturday afternoon. I tried to explain to him where this seal was. He asked a lot of questions that I just didn't have answers to. I wasn't even sure what kind of seal this was. He said he would send a rescue team. I lost the phone connection with him, and we walked on. But my heart was attached to this little creature who was struggling there on the beach. I couldn't even bring myself to photograph him. And you know me, I photograph everything! But I wanted to give this guy a little private space in whatever time left he had on earth. We headed up the hill and walked to the top of the cliff to walk the trail home. On the way back we could see him from up there, still on the beach. That's when I photographed him and noticed that someone had written words above him. I flipped the image to see what it said.

MARINE RESCUE. Someone else had also taken the time and called Marine Rescue. We were so glad. Later that day I checked the Marine Mammal Rescue center's website. There were no new reports during the weekend. Monday was the first day they updated their rescue page, I checked again and sure enough he had been picked up on Saturday. He was given the name OReilly (probably for St. Patrick's day). On Monday there was no diagnosis yet. But we learned that he was a young Elephant Seal and weighed in at 85 pounds. 
On Monday we walked the minus tide to honor my mother and scatter flower petals in the bay for her. Interestingly we saw the Marine Mammal Rescue truck there. So we went over to talk to the driver. He told us that they had gotten another call about another seal. We told him we hadn't seen one on our walk that day. But I did tell him about reporting OReilly on Saturday. He told us that OReilly had been taken to Sausalito for care and assistance. Then, he and his team headed out to the beach to look for another seal to rescue.

On Tuesday morning we checked and found that OReilly was still alive and had been diagnosed with malnutrition. He may have just been weaned from his mother. Their patient rescue page is full of young seals just weaned.

I cannot tell you how happy I am as of this writing that OReilly is still alive. He's in good hands and hearts. It's the best we humans can do, and I am so happy that I had a tiny hand in this.

PS-- Roger and I have done this before, called Marine Mammal Rescue. Here's a blog post from ten years ago.  When we see an animal in distress we just can't look away.

27 comments:

  1. Good for you for making a difference! I hope O'Reilly pulls through. It must be a risky time for baby seals learning to live on their own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve-- It really does seem to be a risky time for them. We're hopeful though. They do get such good treatment at Marine Mammal Rescue in Sausalito.

      Delete
  2. Such a heart warming story. I can't read what was written on the beach, but I'm so glad O'Reilly was rescued. We are critters too, and sometimes need rescuing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara-- It's so true as you write, "We are critters too..." I wish we could all see that.

      Delete
  3. A good walk and a good deed. Sometimes it can be frustrating when help for animals just doesn't seem to be available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Red-- We feel very lucky that there is help available all up and down the coast here.

      Delete
  4. I'm so glad the seal was rescued. My wife saw a baby deer dead beside the road today and it broke her heart. I'm like you I would have been upset if the little fellow had died

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Billy-- We were so glad to be a small part of O'Reilly's rescue. I feel brokenhearted when I see any wildlife on the side of the road. Sigh.

      Delete
  5. Thank goodness there are people like you who love wildness enough to learn about it and respect it. I can just imagine *&%#@!s taking selfies next to it then walking away.
    This winter around here, it's been barred owls in serious trouble. The local raptor rehabilitator has many of them being treated, and people are seeing them everywhere. Once the owls become approachable, it means they are too ill to eat without receiving electrolytes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CCorax-- I've never been able to walk away from anything that looks like it needed help. A thumping heart needs attention. Glad to know that there is a rehab there for the owls. Some humans do such good work, cleaning up after other humans in every way.

      Delete
  6. So happy you and Marine rescue did the right thing. Too many people just think "poor thing" and walk on without calling for help. Can you visit O'Reilly? I'd be tempted. Thank you for caring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patti-- I've thought about visiting OReilly, but not sure we'll be able to. I'm keep track of him and celebrating every day that he's still alive.

      Delete
  7. Yes, Robin, thank you for caring and taking the time not only to call Marine Rescue about the seal, but to follow-up on O'Reilly (love the name). Please, if possible, give us an update if you learn more. And, nice photos of what looks like a beautiful beach walk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beatrice-- I have been keeping track of this young Elephant Seal and as of Wednesday morning, he's still alive! Yay. We love the beach here and are sad about leaving it and selling this house that has been in Roger's family for the past 80 years. Sigh.

      Delete
  8. Wonderful, Robin!
    Remember my comment about how our dead loved ones keep showing up to meet us as animals?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sabine-- I thought of you when we realized that this Elephant Seal was going to be rescued and given a chance at life. Yes, I will always remember that comment. Thank you thank you.

      Delete
  9. Rarely, but sometimes, I read something that tends to renew my belief that the human race is actually worth a damn. This was one of those times. Good for you and your efforts on behalf of O'Reilly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catalyst-- Thank you so much for your kind words. I call it my "rule of rescue" -- if I see it, I have to do something about it.

      Delete
  10. I can't tell you how moved I am by this post. You are such a wonderful person. This really brings tears to my eyes. I'm so thankful there are people like you in this world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon-- Thank you for such kind words. I have a feeling that you would have done the same if your path had crossed with Oreilly as mine did.

      Delete
  11. Lovely post. I am so glad to hear the rescue came and hope he fully recovers. At the very least you gave him a chance. Kudos for taking action.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NCmountainwoman-- I check the Marine Mammal Center website everyday. OReilly is still alive! We are so happy for him. They have 59 patients right now and 43 of them are juvenile Elephant Seals. I'm planning on calling them on Monday to ask why so many are in trouble and to make a $contribution.

      Delete
  12. Years ago when I was living in Humboldt I went along with Beth's sister Ellen on a rescue of an abandoned baby harbor seal. We carried it by towel into the rear of her hatchback and then to her tub at her apartment. It whined and mewed the saddest little cry. The next morning it got picked up and transported to the Marine Mammal Center. Months later we were attending a weekend conference at a facility right down the road so I went and asked them about it. They were able to show us the baby who had grown into a really big and healthy seal. They told us they would be releasing it and a few others into the wild in a few months and that we could attend the release if we wanted. I got an invite but wasn't able to attend. Their facilty is at the Marine Headlands area and definitely worth a visit should you make another trip down south.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Or check it out on our way north. I just read your older posts and realized you're down south. I kow you're not frequenting Facebook so much anymore (I miss you) but I've been forgetting to check in here to your blog every other day. I'll be looking for you here in the future. See ya!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jsk-- We're home now. Drove up on Thursday, but are planning another drive to Capitola to get a lot of the photos and personal stuff out of the house when it gets listed. I LOVE your story of the Harbor Seal rescue. That must have been a long time ago. We plan to stop in at the Marine Mammal Rescue Center on the next drive either on the way down or the way back home. They do such wonderful work. I wish I were younger, I would so love to dedicate my life to such work.

    I really don't like spending much time on Facebook. Not sure why, but it just doesn't pull my heart the way it once did. I wish you lived closer. I wish we could rescue seals together.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It saddens me that the Capitola House is moving out of the family. I understand it but it pull on the heart strings, Hold onto that thought of rescuing seals together. You just never know.

    ReplyDelete