WATCH: Nurse saves dying sea lion while on vacation

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OKLAHOMA CITY (PIX11) — An Oklahoma nurse saved a dying sea lion while on vacation with her son in California.

Anna Priest was visiting what her friends called the “real” California — a remote location known to be peaceful, KFOR reported. While there, the group came across a sea lion that looked like “it had given up hope.”

Priest says the sun baked sea lion was crying, causing her to want to help the animal even more. While her friends initally refused, Priest took initiative by pouring water onto the sea lion.

Her efforts proved successful as the animal was able to eventually get back on its flippers and into the ocean.

“It changed my life,” Priest told KFOR. “I feel like we need to help everyone and everything. If we see a need, you know. We can fill it. At least try.”

A marine biologist told KFOR the sea lion must have been close to death because they are normally aggressive animals.


  • Jen

    While this woman was well meaning, what she did was wrong and is in violation of the marine mammal protection act. If a sea lion is ill, it needs to be rescued and rehabilitated by a center that specializes in marine mammals. One injection (how would this lady know what to give it?) would by help the animal. Also if it was out of te water is was for a good reason. It didn’t want to be wet and cold. So basically this person stressed this animal out to the point where it had to return to the water for safety. If it was as ill as described, it more than likely restranded elsewhere or died.
    The most disturbing thing is that this woman used medication that would have to be prescription on this animal. Nurses have protocols for human injections, but who gave her the correct meds and dosages for this wild marine mammal? The Oklahoma licensing folks might want to take a look at this. She is not a doctor, not a vet, not a vet tech. She theoretically prescribed a drug without license to do so.
    Please visit the national marine fisheries website to find an authorized stranding center if you ever encounter a stranded marine mammal.
    Thank you.

    • Louis

      Jen…. can you not be so pessimistic about such a great story? Also, where did you get that she injected the animal with medicine??? She poured water on it to cool it off. I don’t see anything about giving it medication?

      • Jen

        It said she gave it a shot. So I took that meant an injection. I am not pessimistic. I think it’s nice that she was well meaning, but what she did was wrong and further jeapordized the health of the animal. There are professionals who are authorized to help these animals. Te marine mammal protection act protects these animals from harassment, which they define as: touch, disturb, feed or pour water on. Like I said it came from a good place, but when it comes to wild animals the general public should defer to the professionals. I’m just sticking up for marine mammals. The news piece made her seem a hero and there was nothing about it being illegal as well as dangerous for her and the animal. If other people who come to the California beaches saw that news story, they might try to “help” one too and they could be bitten or worse. Hopefully the people who enforce the federal law will see it as a lack of education and not fine her or send her To jail for one year, which is the prescribed penalty for violating the act.

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