Last Thursday morning, I led a crew of 12 newly hired corps members from the Orange County Conservation Corps on a wildlife survey of the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. The corps members use checklists and photo identification sheets to identify a number of key invertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. But first they have to find the wildlife, and that's usually where the fun comes in.
Vic joined us at noon, and man, did we ever have an exciting tale for him. We had just begun our early morning wildlife survey at the boardwalk when a photographer told us that he had seen an injured sea lion by the tide gates.
I told the corps members that we would end the wildlife survey and go search for the sea lion instead. Wildlife rescue always takes precedence over our regular educational program.
Because of their outstanding performance at this search-and-rescue task, I'm going to mention them all. Members of this crew were Kevin Brisbin, Cynthia Duque, Raquel Gomez, Raul Gutierrez, Michael Hernandez, Danny Ledesma, Jose Muñoz, Natalie Ramos, Manuel Sanchez, Ricardo Sanchez, Ana Torres and Edward Vasquez.