Blog: Carlita the Croc

Sea Lion Strandings

Time for some conservation real talk.

Have you heard about all the sea lion pups found stranded and undernourished off the coast of California?  As of this month, over 1,400 sea lion pups have been found washed up on the shores!  Experts tell us these pups, who are under a year old, should still be dependent on their mother for milk through late spring.  However, sea lion mothers are spending more time at sea hunting for food, leaving the pups on the shore.  Scientists believe adult sea lions are having trouble finding enough food because ocean temperatures have risen more than normal in the area, driving sea lion food sources – fish like anchovies, mackerel, sardines – to find cooler waters.

Sea Lion Pups

This is a total bummer. 

But there is good news –

Sea lion pup

Many, many of these poor little sea lions have been rescued, and will be rehabilitated and returned to the wild.  Yay!  This is thanks to the combined efforts of rescue staff and volunteers, many of whom are veterinarians, wildlife researchers, and animal care professionals such as zookeepers.  The folks in the last group, you may remember, I refer to as “hospitality” staff for animals in zoos.  But don’t let that fool you.  They are experts in recognizing animal behavior, providing care, and knowing baseline health indicators.  

Rita Stacey, Curator of Marine Mammals at Brookfield Zoo, knows a thing or two about caring for such young sea lions:  “Hand-rearing of neonates [pups] requires constant care and around the clock feedings.  It’s equally important to have a clean environment and balanced formula for growth and development.” 

Hopefully, with the helping human hand, these sea lion pups can return to their wild lives, with a little boost to help them reach a healthy adulthood.

I guess there’s really something to this whole “working together.”  I’d totally be out there myself…but, ya know, I don’t have thumbs.

Posted: 3/19/2015 4:50:00 PM by Filed under: climate change, sea lions


Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.

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