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California Wildlife Center sees waves of stranded sea lions

Stranded sea lions can be seen on the beach, but should not be approached or handled. Photos Submitted
A stranded sea lion is temporarily held in captivity while it recovers.
Submitted Content
10:29 am PST February 16, 2016

The California Wildlife Center opened the doors of its seasonal Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Center earlier this year to accommodate large amounts of young California sea lions in need of rescue. 

An unusual mortality event was declared for California Sea Lions, beginning in 2013 with the highest reported stranding rates occurring in Los Angeles County.  

California Wildlife Center has been rescuing stranded sea lion pups since the Center opened in 1998. When the UME was declared for California Sea Lions, CWC constructed its Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Center, enabling CWC to rehabilitate up to 25 sea lions on site, providing some relief to other regional marine mammal rehabilitation centers. CWC is currently rehabilitating eight emaciated sea lion pups.

In order to open the Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Center early, CWC sped up the timeframe for improvements to its infrastructure to more comfortably accommodate animals, adding a roof and further sub-dividing enclosures to allow for more animals. Additional staff support required to provide professional rehabilitative care during this UME has been hired to accommodate this increase in rescues.  

During the upcoming spring and summer months, the El Nino Southern Oscillation is expected to drive more and more seals and sea lions ashore, many in need of rescue and rehabilitation.  

For more information, visit California Wildlife Center’s website at