"Sick Sea Lions Washing Ashore In California Due To Algae Bloom"

"LOS ANGELES - Rescued from the beach, a sick sea lion and her newborn pup are now on the mend with dozens of others at a marine mammal care center, part of effort by California wildlife experts responding to a sudden surge in animals falling ill to a neurotoxin.

Experts say a recent outbreak of algae bloom - commonly known as red tide - has sickened and killed an unknown number of sea lions and dolphins.

Marine biologists are paying close attention because they consider sea lions a sentinel species - animals that can help identify environmental risks to humans.

"It started as a trickle. In the first week we had 12 animals. Then in the next week we were up to 60 plus animals, so it happened relatively quick," said John Warner, chief executive of the Marine Mammal Care Center in the coastal Los Angeles neighborhood of San Pedro."

Omar Younis reports for Reuters June 27, 2023.

Source: Reuters, 06/27/2023