Mystery: Why Have Sea Lion Strandings Doubled This Year?
Researchers at the Marine Mammal Center are struggling with a mystery that might be a suitable challenge for Sherlock Holmes and Jacques Cousteau: Why has the number of stranded California Sea Lion pups doubled this year over 2008?
Many young sea lions are so malnourished by the time they are found and rescued that they die before volunteers can restabilize their condition.
The growth in the number of stranded pups has stretched the Center's staff and budget severely. If you'd like to donate or volunteer your time helping the Center, their "Get Involved" page is here. We all owe a double-dose of respect to the Center's researchers and volunteers.
You can actually visit the rehabilitation center and hospital and watch the volunteers, biologists and vets at work. The Marine Mammal Center is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The Center is located in the Marin Headlands south and west of Sausalito. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
If you ever see a stranded seal or sea lion, don't try to help it yourself — calling the Marine Mammal Center at its 24-hour hotline at 415-289-SEAL gives the pup the best chance for survival.
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