A peculiar creature has been washing up on Coronado shores and was recently spotted at Coronado Dog Beach. It's soft, dark in color, and several inches in length.
NBC San Diego asked marine biologist Dr. Greg Rouse about it. He identified the animal as a probable sea hare, a species of hermaphroditic sea slug that lives in the Pacific Ocean.
With the canines at Coronado Dog Beach taking an interest in the mollusk, Dr. Rouse issued a word of caution. Another species of sea slug in New Zealand was recently found to be toxic. Without knowing more, Dr. Rouse advised pet owners to “be careful” and keep their dogs away.
So why are these slugs washing up on beaches in the first place?
Dr. Rouse’s best guess is that they were “hit by some low oxygen that caused them to lose their grip or some kind of swell has just come in that's rolled them along.”
Whatever the cause, work on that “leave it” cue before taking Buster to the beach. If your dog does get ahold of one of these gelatinous creatures and makes a lunch of it, contact your veterinarian’s office or the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.