According to rescuers, this is the third year in a row that they are saving large number of sea lions stranded along the California coast. Since the start of 2015, about 250 sea lion pups,said to be about seven months old, have been rescued along the state’s coastline, far away from their natural habitat in Channel Islands.
Scientific community is still to come up with an answer
The scientific community is at a complete loss to explain the rise in mortality rates among these sea creatures.Some scientists believe the main cause to be the high temperatures of the water off the state’s coast, as a result of which mothers are being compelled to search for food far away from their pups. Other researchers are of the opinion that the environment is no longer able to support their rising population. Disease, on the other hand, has been ruled out as a causal factor by the scientific community.
Rescuers and veterinarians are doing their utmost to save the creatures
At present, marine biologists have expressed concerns that the death rate may climb higher than the 2013 figures. The death toll in 2013 was termed as an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) by the NOAA. That year, over 1,300 seas lions were rescued between January and May. The number of sea lions saved in January this year is87 compared to 19 in January 2013.Described by rescuers as severely underweight, the sea lions rescued this year are malnourished and weigh just about 15 pounds. According to Erica Donnelly-Greenan, one of the rescuers, “You can see the bones under their skin,” The pups are being subjected to IV fluids and antibiotics with the more severe cases being fed using tubes.