SeaWorld San Diego has rescued more than 400 sea lions since the start of 2015; more than twice the number of marine mammal rescues the park would average in a typical year.
The park’s entire zoological team is working tirelessly to save the lives of the emaciated and ill animals which are mainly aged between six to eight months old, are extremely lethargic, malnourished and dehydrated. Some of them are also suffering from hypothermia, hypoglycemia, pneumonia, parasite infections, pox virus or other illnesses that vulnerable animals can be susceptible to when their immune systems become compromised. SeaWorld’s animal care specialists and veterinarians, including some who have flown in from the SeaWorld’s other parks in Florida and Texas to help, are treating the animals with hydration, nutrition and, when necessary, antibiotics.
California has seen record numbers of stranded sea lions this year and other marine mammal facilities along the coast of the State have reported the same trend. The reason for the standings is unknown but it is thought that it could be due to insufficient food source for the sea lions.
SeaWorld San Diego has temporarily suspend its popular sea lion and otter show, “Sea Lions LIVE” to allow animal caretakers from that facility to assist in rescuing and rehabilitating an historic number of young sea lions beaching in Southern California. A small number of trainers will remain at Sea Lion stadium to continue to care for the animals living there. Zoological team members from SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Antonio, Discovery Cove and Busch Gardens Tampa have also flown out to San Diego to assist in the effort.
The park is also in the process of constructing two temporary pools for the rescued sea lions. While this rescue season already is dramatic in terms of numbers, SeaWorld San Diego has rescued more than 15,000 animals over its 50-year history.
While the temporary closure of the sea lion and otter show may be a minor inconvenience to guests, the park is committed to ensuring that it provides the highest level of care necessary to give the stranded sea lions a second chance at life.