SAUSALITO (KCBS)— On Tuesday we told you the story of Hoppie the sea lion pup’s rescue and rehabilitation, but the truth is the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito is on the brink of having more wayward mammals in need than ever before.
Walking among the pens of California sea lions, elephant seals and harbor seals, Marine Mammal Center spokeswoman Laura Sherr said they expect to have 200 mammals by the end of the week, which will be a per-day record.
“It is pupping season for the animals, so we are seeing a totally normal number of elephant seal pups. So that’s one factor for how busy we are,” she said.
Sherr also attributes it in part to older sea lions getting sick from eating fish connected to a demoic acid bloom found in the waters off Monterey and Santa Cruz.
“The third reason is that we’re seeing a lot more sea lion pups. This is likely effects from last year’s UME in Southern California.”
The UME, aka, unusual mortality event, was due to mother sea lions weaning pups earlier that normal because of a lack of fish to eat.
Sherr said it takes about 1,000 pounds of fish to feed the mammals they’re caring for per day.