Santa Cruz Sentinel, Aug. 1, 2014: The Marine Mammal Center [...] has seen a record-breaking number of patients this year, with 727 admitted through July. In 2013, the center admitted 521 animals. There’s a large number of starving, young sea lions and an algal bloom in Monterey is making adult sea lions sick.
Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 23, 2014: ”We’ve had a record number this year in sea lion admits,” [Marine Mammal Center spokeswoman Laura Sherr] said. The majority of the ailing sea lions have been impacted by a neurological disease caused by large blooms of domoic acid, which is produced by algae. She said the center has also rescued an increasing number of stranded sea lion pups. [...]
KSBY, July 21, 2014: Two dead sea lions were found on the shores of Shell Beach Monday, but wildlife experts say this is not an uncommon sight. [...] Marine Mammal Center officials say there’s been a huge increase in the number of sick sea lions and seals [...]
San Luis Obispo Tribune, July 5, 2014: Sick seals treated at Morro Bay rescue center in record numbers [...] an unprecedented influx of sick seals at the Marine Mammal Center [...] suffering from either starvation or poisoning from toxic algae [...] “It’s been a perfect storm,” [Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science] said. “We’ve been the busiest we’ve ever been at the center.” [...] This year, the center has rescued 658 seals [...] “We think it is a lack of food availability [...] We’ve been seeing a really high number of domoic acid cases” [...] On Saturday, two sea lions were being nursed [...] after suffering seizures [...] The reason for the large number of sick elephant seals is not known.
Stanford University, 2014: The new foe is domoic acid, a neurotoxin that can cause memory loss, tremors, convulsions and death [...] the sea lions develop a form of epilepsy [...] suffer brain damage [...] half are beyond help and have to be euthanized [...] Many more sea lions, as well as other sea animals, are believed to die in the open ocean of untreated seizures [...]
St. Petersburg Times, July 10, 2014: Sea Lion Population Vanishing in Russia’s Far East — The Steller sea lion [has seen a] mysterious population drop on Russia’s extreme eastern lands this year, researchers said. [They] established new reproductive rookeries [but] this summer, the number of new pups born at the rookeries was the lowest in more than 20 years [...] By the end of the sea lions’ reproductive season in early July, only 163 pups were born on the main colony [...] “The reasons for the sea lion population drop on the islands are unknown, and the decline in their number causes concern both among scientists who are studying it and among nature preserve employees,” the statement said.
KSBY, July 8, 2014: There has been a huge increase in the number of sick seals and sea lions on the Central Coast [...] this year, 346 mammals have been released and 271 have died. These numbers are already up from last year when 277 were released and 176 died. [...] they aren’t sure why that is happening [...] effects of domoic acid [...] could be related to [...] ocean pollution [...] “It has been extremely busy this year [...] We had a rescue this morning [...] head weaving, drool from the mouth,” says [Terry Greene, Marine Mammal Center.] “We’re not sure why that is happening [...] I don’t know if we have enough information at this time to determine exactly why [...] We help them [...] to try and reduce the number of seizures” >> Watch broadcast here
Published: August 3rd, 2014 at 8:28 pm ET
- TV: Crisis of epic proportions for California sea lions — Suffering abscesses, seizures — Exponentially higher numbers washing up (VIDEO) April 2, 2013
- CBS San Francisco: Record number of sick seals & sea lions — Doctor: A lot with “large pockets of green and yellow puss all over their body” (PHOTO & VIDEOS) April 20, 2014
- TV: “Surge in marine mammal strandings” on US West Coast — Scientists: “This is very weird”; “My biggest fear is if this… is everywhere” along coast — Whales, dolphins, sea lions, birds recently washing up in large numbers — Many thousands likely dead — Violent seizures shown on news (VIDEO) August 30, 2014
- NBC: Record level of sick or injured California seals and sea lions turning up — “The numbers are extraordinary” — “Scientists worried… The worst kind of perfect storm” — Pups should be weighing 2 or 3 times as much, “severely malnourished” (VIDEO) April 18, 2014
- Sickened animals “unlike anything doctors have ever seen” on West Coast — “They’re eating themselves from the inside” — Cancers… liver, pancreas, intestines shut down… infested with parasites and immune to antibiotics — Unprecedented catastrophe to cause loss of 200,000 sea lions (VIDEO) January 7, 2016