Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Racial Justice | Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

SeaWorld Rescued 475 Seals And Sea Lions This Year

Photo caption:

Photo credit: SeaWorld San Diego

Sea lion pups are pictured at the wildlife rescue center at SeaWorld San Diego, Feb. 17, 2015

SeaWorld San Diego has rescued 475 seals and sea lions so far this year, topping the previous record of 474 rescues in all of 1983, it was announced Thursday.

Just shy of three months into 2015, the parks rescue team has already recorded its highest number of rescues per year in its 51-year history. From Jan. 1 through Thursday afternoon, SeaWorld had saved 458 California sea lions, 11 harbor seals, five elephant seals and a fur seal.

SeaWorld officials said the park was committed to helping the unprecedented number of ill and emaciated animals by scheduling extra rescue personnel, suspending its sea lion and otter show along with its Beluga Interaction Program, and constructing two temporary holding tanks.

Related: Sea Lions Struggle Along The California Coast

The rescued sea lion pups were found malnourished, dehydrated and lethargic. Some were also ailing from hypothermia, hypoglycemia, pneumonia and other illnesses.

Veterinarians and animal care specialists care for each animal for up to eight weeks before they can be returned to the ocean.

More than 1,600 marine mammals have been rescued along the California coastline this year, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Park officials asked anyone who spots a seal or sea lion that appears to be sick, hurt or abandoned to call (800) 541-7325.


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.