Follow-up to: Diseased Alaska seals tested for radiation have abnormal brain growths, undersized lymph nodes -- Environmental cause indicated -- Also found in Russia, Canada -- Walruses next? (PHOTOS)
SoCal Wild, Feb. 8, 2013:
They have loose, rolling skin and their ribs show through their tiny brown bodies. There is a glaze in their large round eyes. When they flop or lay down on the cement dry areas, it’s not the normal lounging that healthy California sea lions typically do for hours on end. Even their whiskers seem droopy. These pups are sick.
[...] As of Feb. 11, 2013 the [Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro] has received more than 100 pups. [...]
David Bard, director of operations [ says ...] “We really aren’t sure why we are seeing so many now. Usually January is a relatively quiet time for us. This has taken us all by surprise.”
[...] “We are prepping in the back of our heads for the ‘worst case scenario’ if this condition still persists,” he says. “We’re taking it day by day.” [...]
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 12, 2013:
[...] Sarah Wilkin, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s marine mammal stranding coordinator [...] says the timing of the strandings is unusual: Sea-lion pups typically get stranded in such numbers in the fall, when they first separate from their mothers and venture out into the ocean to catch food on their own. Sea lions are usually born from May to August, she says.
“Something has changed-but piecing together something like this usually happens after the fact,” Ms. Wilkin said. [...]
Daily News, Feb. 11, 2013:
[...] The center in January saw a record 43 sea lions come through its doors – a trend that hasn’t let up in the first part of February, said David Bard, operations director of the center at Fort MacArthur. But the influx reached a peak on Saturday, with 12 sea lions arriving at the already crowded center. There are now about 85 animals being cared for, Bard said. [...]
“To see nearly 50 arrive in January is very rare for us,” Bard said. “They’re coming in starving and in record numbers. Nutrition is their biggest challenge.” [...]
CBS Los Angeles, Feb. 11, 2013:
A local sanctuary for marine mammals has been inundated with an unusually high number of malnourished sea lion pups this winter.
The Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro says a record 43 sea lion pups were brought in during January, up from an average of 12 for this time of year. February is on track for another record month, according to David Bard, operations director of the Marine Mammal Care Center.
“It started in January. We had a record January this year, with 43 animals,” Bard said. “And, just in the beginning of February, we’ve doubled that.” [...]
Published: February 12th, 2013 at 10:49 pm ET