The head of the sea lion program at the Utica Zoo is headed to California to help with stranded sea lion pup rehabilitation.

Beth Ricci leaves for the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro on Saturday and will be there for one week.

She'll assist in bringing the sea lions from the beach to the care center and with feeding the pups.

Ricci has been working with California Sea Lions at the Utica Zoo for 16 years and has 8 years experience teaching sea lion pups how to feed.

Beth will be ranked as “Animal Support Type 1” volunteer, which means that she has the most experience and knowledge of sea lions, which includes: critical care, pup weaning, animal restraint, and safety.

photo courtesy of Utica Zoo
photo courtesy of Utica Zoo

More From WIBX 950