Starving SoCal Sea Lion Pups Fill Rescue Centers - New York News

Starving SoCal Sea Lion Pups Fill Rescue Centers

Posted: Updated:
Los Angeles, CA -

(AP) Starving sea lion pups are washing up on Southern California beaches at a rate more than five times higher than usual, and scientists are scrambling to figure out why, officials said Wednesday.
 
Since the beginning of the year, 1,293 emaciated sea lions found stranded on beaches from San Diego to Santa Barbara have been treated at seven facilities in the state, Sarah Wilkin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said during a conference call with reporters.
 
Last month, the agency declared an "unusual mortality event" that allowed more scientists to help search for the cause.
 
A leading hypothesis is lack of available food. Researchers were also doing tests to see if pollution, disease outbreak or algae bloom are to blame.
 
Most of the pups being treated weighed between 20 and 30 pounds (9 and 14 kilograms)when they were found, with some as small as 18 pounds (8 kilograms). The animals should weigh about 65 pounds (30 kilograms) by now, she said.
 
As many as 25 percent of the seals have died after being brought in for treatment.
 
The surviving seals are slowly brought up to a normal body weight and monitored to make sure they can find prey on their own and compete with other animals in tanks.
 
The goal is to get them healthy enough to be released back into the wild. Such releases are happening daily at some facilities, Wilkins said.
 
At least two released seals outfitted with monitoring tags have been tracked diving and foraging normally in their regular habitat.
 
Three animals that were released washed up on beaches again and have since been deemed non-releasable. Officials are trying to find homes for them at aquariums or zoos.
 
Anyone who sees a sea lion that has been swept ashore -- dead or alive -- is asked to call the nearest marine mammal center. Authorities say people should not touch the animal or let a pet near it, because sea lions can bite.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Schumer proposes ban on 10 flame retardants

    Schumer proposes ban on 10 flame retardants

    Sunday, September 14 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-09-15 02:42:47 GMT
    Gov. Andrew CuomoGov. Andrew Cuomo
    Senator Charles Schumer says a Duke University study has found flame retardants in upholstered furniture and children's products like toys, pajamas and pillows to be highly toxic. The chemicals have also been linked to developmental delays and rare cancers in firefighters as well as cancers and hormone disruption in children.
    Senator Charles Schumer says a Duke University study has found flame retardants in upholstered furniture and children's products like toys, pajamas and pillows to be highly toxic. The chemicals have also been linked to developmental delays and rare cancers in firefighters as well as cancers and hormone disruption in children.
  • Electricity goes out at Six Flags, guests left stranded

    Electricity goes out at Six Flags, guests left stranded

    Sunday, September 14 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-09-14 22:50:36 GMT
    Six Flags Great Adventure 45th anniversary logo. (AP photo)Six Flags Great Adventure 45th anniversary logo. (AP photo)
    It wasn't the amusement park thrill they were expecting. Some people at Great Adventure in New Jersey were left stranded on rides after a power outage.
    It wasn't the amusement park thrill they were expecting. Some people at Great Adventure in New Jersey were left stranded on rides after a power outage.
  • Stranded jet skiers rescued off Staten Island

    Stranded jet skiers rescued off Staten Island

    Sunday, September 14 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-09-14 22:43:09 GMT
    Two jet skiers stranded since Saturday night were rescued from small islands off of Staten Island Sunday morning, police sources said. The FDNY Marine division discovered the first jet skier on the West Bank Lighthouse island while patrolling the area after 8 a.m. Sunday, and took him to Staten Island University Hospital North. His friend, a man in his 40s, was also saved.
    Two jet skiers stranded since Saturday night were rescued from small islands off of Staten Island Sunday morning, police sources said. The FDNY Marine division discovered the first jet skier on the West Bank Lighthouse island while patrolling the area after 8 a.m. Sunday, and took him to Staten Island University Hospital North. His friend, a man in his 40s, was also saved.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices