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California Wildlife Center staff and volunteers move crates containing rehabilitated sea lions onto the sand at Nicholas Canyon Beach on Wednesday, April 15, to release the animals back into the wild. Photos by Suzanne Guldimann/22nd Century Media
Volunteers open crates to allow rehabilitated sea lions to enter back into the ocean after two months.
Two sea lions move toward the water after being released from the care of the California Wildlife Center.
Two sea lions play in the waves after being released back into the wild.
Suzanne Guldimann, Freelance Reporter
6:42 pm PDT April 22, 2015

Grim reports of sea lion mortality have made local headlines for months. NOAA’s West Coast Fisheries estimates that, as of April 13, a total of 2,590 sea lions have been stranded in 2015 — more than 20 times the average for the past 10 years — leading some biologists to estimate a 2015 mortality rate for pups as high as 70 percent.