Three sea lion pups are recovering at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo after being stranded in Southern California.
The seal lion yearlings are being cared for by marine mammal specialists at the park and are steadily improving. The three arrived a week ago from a Santa Barbara facility that had been caring for them.
The three were found injured, dehydrated, malnourished and stranded along the Southern California coast. After being rehabilitated the first time they were rescued, they re-stranded themselves two weeks later. Specialists found that they had lost most (if not all) of the weight they had gained during their initial rehabilitation. This weight loss indicated that they were not successfully foraging in the wild.
Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are trying to figure out why more than 1,000 pups have been stranded; these three were part of that group.
“We’re trying to plump them up,” said Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Trainer Toni Rael. “We’re giving them as much food as they can possibly eat and getting good weight back on them. They’re getting different medications for being treated for worms, one of them had a broken flipper and an abscess so they’ll get antibiotics.”