California Beaches are seeing Starving Sea Lions Washing Ashore by the Hundreds
Mar 15, 2015 01:49AM
By Paul Spear
More than 1,450 other sea lions that have washed up on California beaches this year, in what animal experts call a growing crisis for the animal.
Last week, SeaWorld San Diego said it would shut its live sea lion and otter show for two weeks so it could spare six of its animal specialists for the rescue-and-recovery effort.
Experts suspect that unusually warm waters are driving fish and other food away from the coastal islands where sea lions breed and wean their young. As the mothers spend time away from the islands hunting for food, hundreds of starving pups are swimming away from home and flopping ashore from San Diego to San Francisco.
What should people do if they encounter a sick California sea lion on the beach?
• Do not touch the sea lion
• Don’t allow pets to approach the sea lion
• Observe the animal from a safe distance (safe for you and the animal)
In San Diego County, sick or stranded marine mammals should be reported to the following agency:
Sea World of California
Please call: 619-455-0709 or 800-541-7325
In San Diego County, dead stranded/floating marine mammals and sea turtles should be reported to the following agency:
NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Please call: 858-546-7162
Please feel free to contact Imperial Beach Public Safety at 619-423-8223 if you have any questions.
Information provided by the City of Imperial Beach and NY Times