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Sea lion rescued from East Palo Alto creek dies

'Verbena' euthanized after suffering stroke

A young male sea lion rescued from San Francisquito Creek has been euthanized after having a stroke, a spokesman for the Marine Mammal Center said Thursday (Sept. 1).

Verbena, who was named after the street in East Palo Alto near where he was found, developed a blood clot and a brain stroke as a result of antibodies from fighting a leptospirosis infection, Jim Oswald, a spokesman for the center, said.

The sea lion was discovered in a weakened state on Aug. 25 and was brought to the center in the hopes of helping him recover. A local towing company, A&J Towing, was called in to help pull the sea lion from the mud.

Verbena was thought to be 2 to 3 years old, Oswald said. The center treats 180 sea lions annually and about 50 percent have leptospirosis, a bacterial infection the animals ingest after drinking from standing pools of water in which they might have defecated, Oswald said. Many are treated successfully and are released back to the wild, he said.

Sue Dremann

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