Sea Lion Crisis Continues into 2016March 2, 2016
March 2, 2016
In 2015, SeaWorld played a vital role in rescuing hundreds of sea lion pups that were found malnourished, dehydrated and otherwise ill on California beaches and some other unusual places.
The crisis was deemed an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The availability, or lack thereof, of prey for these animals seems to be a key issue in this UME, and researchers believe El Nino may be contributing factor.
For these animals, hauling out onto a beach is often its last attempt at survival. The “dramatic and unusual” rescues that have occurred during this UME, like this rescue that took place in an upscale restaurant, have brought a serious focus to the plight of these struggling animals.
During 2015, the stranding network and its participating facilities, including SeaWorld, assisted in the rescue of about 3,000 sea lions. As we move through 2016, SeaWorld and other members of the Marine Mammal Canter and California Wildlife Center are committed to continuing to provide the best care possible for these struggling animals.