Sausalito-based Marine Mammal Center (MMC), a nonprofit organization has responded to nearly 120 calls concerning stranded sea lion pups off the California coast, from San Francisco to San Diego. The pups are abandoned by their mothers and are undernourished. The event is no longer a surprise to many experts as such event happened in previous years, although the number of stranded pups recently is becoming alarming. Any disease had been ruled out.
MMC veterinarian director Shawn Johnson said the recent stranding could be higher yet as sea lion mothers seem to disappear. If the strength of the trend continues, there could be long-term effects in the sea lion population. Marine Animal Rescue director Peter Wallerstein also echoed the MMC’s concerns as the stranding is becoming increasingly puzzling. Other agencies are monitoring the female sea lions’ conditions, including their breeding grounds so as to reveal the reason behind the event.