Tim Ryan/KCBS Radio

Sea Lions Released After Battling Serious Ailments

Tim Ryan
December 27, 2018 - 3:27 pm

Two California sea lions waddled their way back into the wild on Thursday at a Marin County beach after being treated for serious illnesses. 

Veterinarians from the Marine Mammal Center said they had treated Spruce, a large male California sea lion, for leptospirosis, an often fatal kidney infection. They also freed Wazowski, a younger sea lion who overcame pneumonia. 

"They are the lucky ones and we're really excited to celebrate this moment at the end of this year," said veterinarian Shawn Johnson. 

The Marine Mammal Center treated about 300 sea lions this year for leptospirosis, but approximately two out of every three perished.

Spruce was rescued from Monterey County several weeks ago while Wazowski was picked up in San Luis Obispo. 

A crowd of about 100 onlookers showed up at Rodeo Beach to watch the animals return to the water. 

"This is what it's all about. We get to the point where the animals are happy, safe, healthy and ready to go home," said one volunteer.  "We all like to come out and watch these things." 

Two California sea lions returned to the waters today at Rodeo Beach in Marin County after battling serious illnesses. Spruce, the larger of the two, had been rescued in Monterey County with a kidney infection that is often fatal while Wazowski, seen in the third picture, was afflicted with pneumonia in San Luis Obispo. Both were treated by @themarinemammalcenter.

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