"Southern California Coast Sees Deluge of Sick Sea Lion Pups"

"Sick and malnourished sea lion pups are stranding themselves on Southern California beaches in some of the largest numbers seen in over a decade, perplexing scientists and leading one care facility to declare itself near capacity."

"Officials at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, California, have said they are in emergency mode.

The last time they saw such an onslaught of the mammal pups this early in the year was 1998, when an "El Nino" weather pattern warmed the waters off the California coast.

Fish migrated away from shore, which forced adult sea lions to swim farther to chase them and made it harder for mother sea lions to care for their young."

Dana Feldman reports for Reuters March 15, 2013.

Source: Reuters, 03/15/2013