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Pacific Marine Mammal Center declared their organization is in a “state of emergency” as they continue to take in stranded California sea lion pups in need of medical attention.
On one day in March, PMMC has rescued eighteen sea lions, the highest number of rescues in a single day ever recorded for the organization.
Currently, they have 151 patients at their rescue center, 140 of which are sea lions.
“The last time we had this many sea lions this early in the year was fifteen years ago,” said Director of Animal Care Michele Hunter. “We are seriously concerned about the pace at which animals are stranding, and having the resources to keep up.”
The vast majority are coming ashore severely malnourished and dehydrated.
The spike in sick sea lion pups along the entire California coast has puzzled scientists. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has declared the situation an "unusual mortality event” and marine biologists are currently trying to determine why this is happening.
At PMMC, they know that the sea lions will keep coming and need several months of intensive care to become healthy enough to release.
“Our organization functions as a hospital for marine mammals in need, and offers them the medical care necessary to get the healthy enough to return home. This requires a great deal of resources including space, funds for medicine and food, medical staff time and vehicle transportation to and from the beaches,” said Executive Director Keith Matassa “With this high number of animals, we are going through our financial resources at an alarming rate. Every dollar counts, and anyone able to support us during this time is greatly appreciated.”
Following video was taken when PMMC only had 130 sea lions in March:
To support PMMC, make a Gift That Gives More at The Animal Rescue Site.