SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — The Marine Mammal Center is seeing so many sick and malnourished sea lions that they are quickly running out of space to treat them.
The center said they have been receiving about ten additional pups per day. At that rate, the treatment center will be full in just a few weeks.
The malnourished pups are noticeably skinny, with ribs showing through their skin.
“They’re being separated from their mothers, they should be nursing. They are emaciated, skinny, like a bag of bones,” Shawn Johnson, Director of Veterinary Science at the Marine Mammal Center said.
Due to their condition, not all the pups can be saved.
“It’s really hard to go by in the morning and occasionally one of them dies during the night because it was so far gone and to carry a little 20 or 30 pound baby animal down to our necropsy is just, yeah, really hard,” Volunteer Stan Jensen said.
Sick baby sea lions have been showing up in increasing numbers recently along the California Coast.