Federal scientists say the number of sea lion pups stranded on California beaches is spiking and is now higher than the total for all of 2013, the last time large numbers of pups starved.
The Marine Mammal Center is seeing so many sick and malnourished sea lions that they are quickly running out of space to treat them.
A marine mammal rescue group said Monday it’s seeing a record number of stranded sea lions and seals along the Northern and central California coast — some of whom appear to have been sickened by toxins and others weaned by their mothers earlier than usual.
Annual closures of areas of the Point Reyes National Seashore will be in effect to keep beachgoers from interacting with seal pups during pupping season.
The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito is reporting a higher-than-usual number of emaciated elephant seal pups.
Beachgoers are being advised not to interact with seal pups since contact could cause harm to the animal.