Record Number of Seals and Sea Lions Rescued in California
A toxic algal bloom and other factors are leading to marine mammal distress.
A record number of seals and sea lions for this time of year have been admitted to California treatment facilities. The lead vet working with the animals blames a "perfect storm" of causes, including a toxic algal bloom and seasonal factors.
The nonprofit Marine Mammal Center has taken in 386 animals since January 1, more than during any previous year up to this date, says Shawn Johnson, the group's top veterinarian. The center's headquarters is in Sausalito, though it maintains satellite offices in Mendocino, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo Counties.
The Marine Mammal Center typically treats 600 to 800 marine animals per year, a number that has been trending upward. In all, the center has rescued more than 18,000 animals since