If these little guys were in trouble, what would you do?
The Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach has declared a state of emergency after rescuing nearly 80 sea lion pups after they have been mysteriously washing ashore within the past few months. In a single day, the Center took in 12 stranded malnourished pups, the highest number of rescued pups in the Center's history according to National Geographic. Reasons for the severely high number of pups coming ashore are not known yet, but some scientists and marine biologists think changing weather patterns and lack of food source may be the answer.
The Center is the only non-profit organization in Orange County licensed to retrieve and care for marine mammals, and therefore, the facility is going through their resources at an alarming rate to help save these pups. Facility staff are keeping a close eye on every pup, and so can you! Just visit the Center's patient page to see the pup's profiles.
|This is an actual photo taken out of the Center in Laguna Beach where some of the rescued pups have been taken in to be cared for.|
The Center wants to spread the word out to everyone who might see a stranded sea lion pup NOT to chase them back into the water or to pick them up and drop them back into deep sea levels. It's the absolute WORST thing to do to an injured animal needing nourishment and more strength before returning to its normal habitat. "These pups are coming ashore to get warm and rest, and are hauling out of the ocean to survive." said Keith Matassa, Executive Director of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.
|Two of the Center's animal rescue staff saving a beached pup from the rocks.|
The Surfrider Foundation has also reported that as of two weeks ago, 517 pups have been admitted into five Southern California rescue centers. "We are seriously concerned about the pace at which animals are stranding, and having the resources to keep up." said the Center's Director of Animal Care, Michele Hunter. "Animals coming in in this condition need intensive care to become healthy enough to release, often requiring at stay of 2-4 months at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center...This requires a great deal of resources including space, funds for medicine and food, medical staff time, and vehicle transportation to and from the beaches."
|Only 65 pounds, malnourished, and injured due to grill net and fishing line - she was rescued on March 2nd. Pick up your line fishers!|
Watch the video below thanks to CNN/Anderson Cooper 360 on more of what's happening inside the Center and along the California coastline.