LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (KTLA) — Marine animal rescue crews are reporting a significant increase in weak sea lion pups this year.
KTLA was with Peter Wallerstein, a Marine Animal Rescue specialist, as he rushed down a steep Palos Verdes hillside onto the rocks in the Torrance Beach area to save a 25-pound, malnourished sea lion.
The stranded pup had a head wound, and was also very skinny and lethargic. He’ll be rehabilitated at the San Pedro Marine Mammal Care Center.
The problem is that the center is being overwhelmed with emaciated and confused sea lions.
Wildlife experts say they aren’t sure why more animals are coming ashore this year.
“We do know there’s a high number of birthings in San Miguel Island this year, but all the pups are half the body weight they should be,” Wallerstein explained.
“The other night I rescued a sea lion in Carson on Avalon Boulevard in front of the Verizon store,” he said. “These sea lions will just walk as far away from the water as possible.”
Wallerstein warns that, though the pups may be cute, you should keep your distance, because they’ve been known to bite.