What with our storms this Winter we've seen a fair number of refugees being taken in by our aquatic park. Most years we still get refugees, and they still need support as they recover from their ordeal.
While informative the story does not say anything with how the sea lions handle being around people. Or with what happens with some of them after their return to the wild. My plan is to get in touch with the people at Sea World of San Diego to learn what they can tell me.
Now earlier a lady from Australia posted about an experience she had during the fires. Seems that a few of the animals she had fostered before the fires had returned to her, likely because they remembered her and how she had treated them. But I suspect that not all of them had actually had any contact with her before this occasion. Instead, they had just followed the lead of those who remembered her and had set out to get help from her. A case of "follow the leader."
I've heard of seals and sea lions released from rehabilitation approaching humans on the beach for help, and I suspect we have pretty much the same thing going on here as with the kangaroos in Australia. In any case I'll make a few inquiries with Sea World SD and report on it.