On November 11, 2000 at 8:31 am, the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur released an adult female California Sea Lion into the waters off San Pedro. 00-75, or "Malia" as she is now known, carries on her back a satellite tag that will provide location details and information on her niche in the wild.
00-75 arrived at the Care Center on August 4th, 2000. She was suffering from the effects of domoic acid toxicity, a condition caused by the ingestion of fish affected by a particular alga. Though missing a large portion of her lower jaw, her ability to eat was evidenced by her body weight and the fact that she was having seizures, a symptom exhibited by animals that have eaten the fish in question.
Shortly after arriving at the Care Center, Malia also came down with a case of pneumonia, probably as a result of aspirating seawater during one of her sezures. Respiratory therapy, antibiotic treatment and countless volunteer hours helped her jump this next hurdle and put her on the road to recovery.
Three months after her arrival, 00-75 was actively holding her own in a pen with two other animals.
Location data collected from the satellite tag will be cross-referenced with topographical, temperature, wind and ocean current statistics in an effort to profile the feeding habits of an animal that has had to adapt to the challenges posed by a unique physical impediment. The tag may transmit information for as long as six months, and will detach when the animal sheds fur in August or September.