July 9, 2008

Rescued Sea Lion Recovers at Mammal Center

A wayward sea lion is recovering at a California marine center after the animal spent 10 days stranded in a concrete channel near an expressway, rescuers say.

The sea lion was deemed San Tomas because of the expressway near the shallow channel in Santa Clara, Calif., where she was trapped for 10 days, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported Wednesday.

The sea lion was rescued Monday and is settling in at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., the newspaper said.

Rescuers said they are preparing to examine the animal's brain for signs of domoic acid poisoning, which has affected other lost sea lions.

Lisa Borok of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute said the toxin accumulates in fish and other animals during dangerous algae blooms.

Domoic acid poisoning can cause sea lions to become disoriented and confused.