The research was conducted over two decades. To date, almost 25% of the sea lions that first responders bring to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito have died from one aggressive cancer, among the highest prevalence of a single cancer type in any mammal, including humans.
California Sea Lion Deaths
The center said it sees a surge in the number of sea lions admitted with symptoms of leptospirosis every four to five years. Before the 2017 outbreak, the most recent ones occurred in 2011 and 2008. During the 2011 outbreak, about 200 sea lions infected with leptospirosis were admitted to the center, according to a news release.
About 12 of the 2017 cases were found in Monterey County sea lions, the Monterey Herald reported. Leptospirosis is caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria called leptospira. Two of the cases were in Santa Cruz County.
Since the beginning of April, Julia Parker has seen 216 sick pelagic birds come into the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network. There were only four in February, and three in March. Of those 216, mostly loons, grebes, and murres, only 65 survived long enough to be transferred to the International Bird Rescue center in San Pedro. Many more have been found dead on nearby beaches.
Since 2015, over 1,200 California sea lions have been calling rehabilitation centers home across the state. In Sausalito’s Marine Mammal Center, more than 400 sea lions have been admitted, with others in the hospital recuperating. Experts are of the belief… Read More ›
MORRO BAY, Calif. – Packed with large nets, wooden boards and a large crate, a dark blue truck scoured the edges of surfer-lined Pismo Beach late one morning earlier this month. Onlookers in the distance tipped them off to what… Read More ›
Editor’s Note: Another unusual rash of marine mammals have beached themselves requiring rescue operations along the Pacific coastline. Along the north coast of California, the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, reports 429 pinniped rescues as of early May 2014,… Read More ›