"Sea Lion Pups Dying at High Rate in California: Agency"

"A federal agency has declared that more sick and dying sea lion pups have stranded themselves on southern California beaches so far in 2013 than in the previous five years combined, but scientists are still unsure what is afflicting the mammals."

"The 'unusual mortality event' notice from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released late on Wednesday follows animal rescue groups' warnings of a large influx of ailing sea lion pups in California.

'We anticipate this will get worse when the pups begin to wean from their mothers and have to forage on their own,' said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service, which is part of NOAA."

Marty Graham reports for Reuters April 2, 2013.

Source: Reuters, 04/04/2013