Covered in sand, California sea lion Niko was starving, lethargic and had his flippers tucked against his belly when he was found. Luckily, a concerned beachgoer called our hotline to report this distressed sea lion.
Once rescued and at our hospital, Niko immediately started drinking water. Marine mammals generally don’t need to drink water because they receive all the hydration they need from food sources. This behavior and his tucked flippers were signs that he was suffering from leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that affects the kidneys and can be fatal if left untreated.
Leptospirosis is a serious disease that can also infect humans and dogs. What our scientists learn from treating patients like Niko helps us better understand what causes an outbreak, how we can improve treatment for infected animals and how to protect humans as well.
Thanks to rehabilitative care that included fish meals, antibiotics, fluids and other supportive care, this young sea lion recovered. After about a month, Niko was released to his ocean home with a second chance at life.
Thank you for your generous donation and for making a difference in the life of a marine mammal like Niko.
This is an exclusive digital-only Adopt-a-Seal®. When you adopt this patient, you’ll automatically be able to download your adoption certificate, which shares this patient's photo and story.
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Please note that this is a non-customizable, download-only certificate.