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CBS 5's recently captured video showed more than 100 sick, malnourished sea lions flooding the Marine Mammal Center in San Rafael. One can feel pity for these small sea lion pups after hearing their cries as they are too young to survive.
"They're being separated from their mothers, they should be nursing. They are emaciated, skinny, like a bag of bones", Dr. Shawn Johnson, Director of Veterinary Science at the Marine Mammal Center, told the channel.
A volunteer said that not all the pups could be saved. The Marine Mammal Center center's spokeswoman, Yvette Koth, said that the situation is quite alarming
By now, KPCC radio in Pasadena speculates that the number of stranded animals on the Coast has exceeded that the 2013 figure. The year 2013 was one in which the National Marine Fisheries Service declared an unusual mortality event for West Coast sea lions.
Researchers at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito said the organization has responded to 120 pups in the first five or six weeks of 2015. Dr. Johnson said the birthing season started about seven months ago, and the pups are usually staying with their mothers on the Channel Islands until they're 11 months old.
The mothers might be abandoning their pups as they search for food. The fish the seals usually eat may be feeding farther from the islands than in the past. This could be the cause behind mother seals going after the fish but not returning to their pups on the islands, said researchers.
Koth said there are chances that the pups are dying because of an unidentified disease. But a more serious matter to be looked forward to is that it is the third consecutive year the center has seen a larger than normal number pups needing help and the number seems to be growing each year.