A California sea lion who somehow ended up at a North Bay car dealership last week was rescued and is being treated at a nearby marine mammal facility.
Mini, the appropriately-named adult female sea lion, was found in a parking lot at MINI of Marin in Corte Madera, according to The Marine Mammal Center.
Experts believe Mini had likely traveled too far into Corte Madera Marsh State Marine Park — possibly on the hunt for a meal — when she left the water, crossed San Clemente Drive and eventually arrived at the dealership.
Trained responders from The Marine Mammal Center scooped Mini up and brought her back to the marine mammal hospital in Sausalito to get checked out.
A thorough exam revealed that Mini was in “excellent body condition” but was suffering from joint arthritis in one of her flippers, according to The Marine Mammal Center.
“Mini has made great early progress during her rehabilitation and we’re encouraged by her energetic demeanor and active eating skills,” Dr. Cara Field, medical director at The Marine Mammal Center, said in a statement. “Once this animal’s rear flipper heals and bloodwork shows no signs of ill health, our team will return this sea lion back to her ocean home.”
It wasn’t immediately known when Mini would be released back into the wild.
The center said she had previously received treatment for a swollen jaw and neck wounds while at The Marine Mammal Care Center, which is located in the Los Angeles community of San Pedro.