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Marine Mammal Center to Mark Day of the Seal

April 18, 1998

The Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro takes care of stranded and hungry seals and sea lions and nurses them back to health, and on Sunday it is opening its doors to the public for the International Day of the Seal, a worldwide celebration of the animals.

Executive Director Jackie Ott said the center has rehabilitated more than 50 animals this year--a 900% increase from last year. Ott said the warm waters of El Nino have led the mammals' primary food sources--herring, sardines, mackerel and squid--to move to colder waters, leaving many of the animals malnourished. Additionally, high surf has made it difficult for them to survive in the ocean.

Ott said Sunday's event is intended to promote public awareness. Activities will include games, face-painting, displays and storytelling in addition to lectures and a viewing of the seals and sea lions.

The free celebration is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Marine Mammal Care Center at Ft. MacArthur, 3601 S. Gaffey St.

Information: (310) 548-5677.

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