AHF donates to help malnourished sea lion pups

baby sea lionThe AHF received a request from the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur (MMCC) in San Pedro, CA telling us that it has received over 400 malnourished sea lion pups since January and the MMCC  neds to provide the care necessary to rehabilitate and release these animals.

Additionally, every dollar that we or the public donates will be matched by the Waitt Foundation up to $25,000.

In March, NOAA Fisheries declared an Unusual Mortality Event for California sea lions. Los Angeles County is experiencing more strandings than any other county. Even as intake numbers decrease, these animals need up to one to two months of rehabilitation. With MMCC being the lead facility in Los Angeles County rehabilitating these animals.

Researchers speculate that warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures have dispersed prey fish, causing female sea lions to spend more time away from their pups, resulting in malnourished and dehydrated pups. Their immune systems become compromised, their health deteriorates, and they ultimately strand themselves on Southern California beaches.

Once rescued, seals and sea lions are brought to MMCC. Intake and treatment protocols call for initial and follow-up blood work, appropriate medications, and may require radiographs and sometimes surgery. The amount of food required to feed our patients is up about 30% from this time last year. In short, the MMCC is experiencing a significant increase in operating costs.

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