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Meet SeaWorld Rescue Team who attempted to save beached sperm whale in Carlsbad

Sea World rescue team.jpg
Posted at 4:47 PM, Mar 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-17 21:04:02-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — It's not just fun and games inside Seaworld San Diego. In fact, there's an entire rescue team rescuing our animals along the coastline.

"This is how we intake the animals. This is where we gather information about the animals and create a treatment plan," said Jeni Smith as she worked to take a sea lion off of a rescue truck.

This has been her career for the past 23 years.

"We are the 911 operators. We get all the phone calls and we field all of the calls. We're also the ambulance. So, we also are hopping in the vehicle to go rescue the animal. We're also the nurses or the rehabilitates," said Smith.

The rescue of the day is a sea lion that needed help near Solana Beach.

"So, this animal is quite large so this is the best way we can get her off the truck," she said.

This is the twelfth California sea lion the team has rescued this year.

This rescue is happening less than 24 hours after the team worked to try to save a pygmy sperm whale that washed up on the Carlsbad shore.

"The first thing that I did was look at the body condition. It was very skinny. So it was very emaciated. We also looked to see if there were any injuries. There really weren't any outside injuries so maybe it was dealing with an infection," she said.

Each time the team goes out for a rescue, the end goal is to rehabilitate it and return the animal to its habitat.

Unfortunately, this animal passed away, but smith says the rescue will be a memorable one for the team because it was an all-hands-on-deck effort to try to save the whale.

"It was just very awesome for the community to come together," she said.

Next, the team will learn from the rescue.

"It will get a necropsy which is an animal autopsy. We can learn so much from this species. Unfortunately, it didn't make it but all of the information we will gather from it is super important for the next time we go on a rescue like this," said Smith.

If you see a mammal in distress along our coastline, you can help SeaWorld's rescue team by calling them at 1-800-541-SEAL.