12 Feb '15, 9pm

Record numbers of stranded and starving sea lion pups worry rescue workers

In the past two years, high numbers of starving sea lion pups have washed onto California’s beaches and this year may set a record. More than 470 young sea lions have been admitted to rehab centers in the state, and what is considered to be peak stranding season is likely still on the way. Not only are these young California sea lions sometimes found weighing half of what they should, they are often at an age when they should still be with their mothers—and depending on their milk. "They're extremely emaciated, basically starving to death," veterinarian Shawn Johnson told National Geographic . Marine biologists aren’t exactly sure what’s lead to the surge of strandings, which began in 2013 when some 1,600 sea lion pups came ashore. That year, NOAA described the situation as an “Unusual Mortality Event” and researchers began looking for a cause. According to The Marine Mamm...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/ocean-conservation/record-numbe...

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