What To Do If You See a Stranded
Marine Mammal in Orange County

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Please keep your distance from the animal in order to give the animal the best chance of survival

Federal law prohibits touching, feeding, harassing, removing or returning a beached mammal to the water. Please do not pour water on the animal.

Seals and sea lions temporarily "haul-out" of the water and go on land to rest. This is normal behavior, so not all animals will need our help.

Monitor from a safe distance and make necessary observations . Politely keep other people away from the animal.


Call Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) at (949) 494-3050.
Ask to speak with our animal care department.
Describe the animal with as much detail as possible:

  • Size
  • Body Condition (such as hip bones and ribcage noticeable)
  • Injuries or Wounds
  • Behavior (is the animal sitting up, vocalizing, etc.?)
  • Location
  • Does the animal have any obvious identification tags or markings?

Call PMMC at (949) 494-3050

Unfortunately, we are not permitted by NMFS/NOAA to retrieve deceased animals.
Please call us and we will refer you to the proper agency for disposal.