Segments in this Video

Ocean ER (08:18)


The marine mammal center in Sausalito, CA works with animals caught at marinas, beaches, or on the rock jetties of Monterey Bay. At the ocean side hospital, chief vet Frances Gulland is trying to remove tumors from a harbor seal pup. Gulland and her colleagues have pioneered new ways to diagnose and treat these animals.

Successful Patient Release (09:18)

Shelby Stout answers phones and goes out on emergency calls while the doctors treat sick and wounded animals. The process by which the animals are brought to the hospital and are given basic care can sometimes be complex. They must tube feed babies back to health.

Advanced Medical Care for Seals (03:48)

Phil and Jean Warren discover an abandoned seal pup near their home which is located close to a breeding ground. The marine mammal center houses a pediatric intensive care unit for young harbor seals. The seal pup with the tumor has an x-ray showing the deformity is irremovable; the veterinarians decided the most humane step is euthanasia.

Tagging Wild Seals (05:04)

Dan Costa works with the Ano Nuevo State Reserve near Santa Cruz where he studies healthy marine animals living in the wild. They work with satellite technology to tag animals in order to study their habitats. The elephant seal migration is one of the longest animal migrations on the planet.

Unexplained Illness (06:12)

Back in the hospital, one of the harbor seal pups is not behaving normally or responding well to her treatment. One of the harbor seal pups undergoes a state of the art CAT scan. The scan shows the scientists and researchers the seal is in perfect health, frustrating Gullard's team.

Effects of Pollution (08:43)

A California sea lion has been brought to the lab displaying symptoms of exposure to poisonous algae caused along the coast of California by pollution. Phytoplankton is studied in order for oceanographers to determine how domoic acid is produced. The acid is a neurotoxin which burns holes into the brains of the infected sea lions.

Sea Lion Release Day (08:13)

Jennifer Maldonado is setting up a protective barrier to protect a Hawaiian monk seal and her pup. Many of the seal pups back at the marine hospital are ready to be reintroduced to the wild; the team holds the annual full moon release party.

Credits: Ocean Animal Emergency (00:50)

Credits: Ocean Animal Emergency

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Ocean Animal Emergency

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The world's oceans are in trouble. Warming seas and man-made pollutants are combining to unleash toxic algae blooms that are decimating whales, sea lions and other marine mammals. In a high-action film, NOVA explores this crisis through the exploits of Dr. Frances Gulland, a San Francisco veterinarian who runs the equivalent of a West Coast ER for marine mammals. On a typical day, listless sea lions flop on their sides, too exhausted to lift their heads. Others are agitated. Another chews obsessively on a flipper. They are all victims of a marine neurotoxin made by an organism that feeds on algae. Dr. Gulland is committed to saving these sick animals one at a time, but she is also desperately trying to figure out what's killing them.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: EDP151122

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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