San Pedro: Marine Mammal Care Center

Near the Korean Bell of Friendship is the Marine Mammal Care Center.

It's kind of tucked away but completely worth stopping by and learning about. The smell of fish is strong, but don't let that deter you.

The care center provides a place of rehabilitation for sick or injured marine mammals in Los Angeles County.

If available, a guide can also provide information about the rehabilitation and hopeful release of the pinnipeds (California Sea Lions, Northern Elephant Seals, Pacific Harbor Seals, Northern Fur Seals, and Guadalupe Fur Seals) that reside here.

It's all fenced around the individual segments the seals are in, so you can't play with the seals or touch them, but it's for the animals, and maybe your, protection. The volunteers themselves use boards to direct the animals to move so they don't touch them. The ultimate goal is to get these animals back into their natural habitats, and not get them accustomed to human interaction.

It's fun to watch the seals play, soak in the sun, or hear them talk to each other. Some of their injuries are more visible than others, but it's nice to know this facility is taking care of them.

You can also volunteerdonate, or provide items from their wishlist.