One of San Diego’s jewels is found behind the walls of SeaWorld San Diego.
Deep inside the park is a corner devoted to rescuing and rehabilitating all kinds of marine animals.
SeaWorld's Rescue Team helped nearly 1,000 marine animals in 2017, suffering from a wide range of conditions from malnutrition to infections caused by open wounds.
The largest rescue for the team thus far is an 18 thousand pound California Gray Whale.
Animals are treated at the Animal Health and Rescue Center inside SeaWorld San Diego. The facility has surgical units where critical animals are treated as soon as they arrive.
This year, the Rescue Team has aided more than 150 sea lions, nearly four dozen seals of various species, three sea turtles, two dolphins and a pygmy sperm whale.
The team was treating two sea lions Wednesday that may have been bitten by sharks, team member Jodie Westberd said.
“One of the things I think is amazing with these animals even when you see them out in the wild, the trauma or the wounds that these animals can heal from,” Westberd said.
The pups are being nursed back to health with proper food, vitamins and good old fashion tender love and care. The healing process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.
The team is gearing up another year of rescues in 2018. They want to remind San Diegans that it is important to call their hotline if you ever encounter an injured animal.
The park's hotline is monitored 24/7 and can be reached at (800) 541-SEAL.