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Mystery Along the California Coast: Sea Lion Pups Washing Ashore

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Mystery Along the California Coast

From Marine Animal Rescue
March 2013

He normally rescues 200 sea lion pups in a an entire year. But now, the animals are beaching themselves in unprecedented numbers.

seal pup California WallersteinIn 27 years, saving sea creatures big and small, Peter Wallerstein is seeing something he’s never seen before. They do look so cute. But they have a bite ten-times greater than a pit bull.

He normally rescues 200 sea lion pups in a an entire year. But now, the animals are beaching themselves in unprecedented numbers.

This year, it’s been an alarmingly high number of rescues. Done 200 rescues since January 1st.

The animals are showing up all over southern California beaches, skinny and starving.

Scientists say they don’t know exactly why. They do know for some reason there simply isn’t enough food for the sea lions to eat. Commercial bait fishermen friends of Peter, says there’s no bait in the water.

No anchovies, no mackerel.

Just seconds after we finished the interview, another call. Tower four, Santa Monica, baby seal, very young.

Eyes are barely open. Peter carefully moves in. This is already his fifth rescue of the day. So far this year, more than 500.

Until experts figure out what’s going on, rescuers will be on the beach, trying to save them.