We humans feel a kinship to marine mammals: Porpoises, dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions.
They’re a bit like us: Talkative, social, solitary, inquisitive, active, and some times lazy beach bums.
And like us, they’re smart.
And like us, sometimes they become ill or are injured and need help.
Which is when we help them, just like we help each other. And just like we do with our human relatives, we visit them when they are in the hospital.
“is a nonprofit veterinary research hospital and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals – primarily elephant seals, harbor seals, and California sea lions.”
This the prime time of year to visit TMMC because it is when the largest number of marine mammals have been rescued and are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation there.
There are no food service facilities at The Marine Mammal Center or in the Marin Headlands of the GGNRA, but you can pack a lunch and enjoy it on the beach or while hiking in the area.
TMMC’s goal, of course, is to return as many rescued animals back to their home in and around California’s Pacific Ocean coastland.
Elephant seals are often released about an hour’s drive north of The Marine Mammal Center, near Chimney Rock in Point Reyes National Seashore, where you are likely to find them sleeping on the beach in late winter and early spring.
(The Marine Mammal Center is constructing a new rescue and rehabilitation facility on “The Big Island” of Hawaii to help save the endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal. You can support TMMC’s work by becoming a member, making a donation, or being a “parent” through the “Adopt-A-Seal®” program. Tales Told From The Road publisher, Dick Jordan, and his wife, Cindy, who is TMMC volunteer, have done all three.)