Skip to main content

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

SeaWorld Returns Four Sea Lions To Ocean After Weeks Of Rehabilitation

Sea lions being returned to the wild Jan. 30, 2020, after several weeks of re...

Photo by Mike Aguilera / SeaWorld San Diego

Above: Sea lions being returned to the wild Jan. 30, 2020, after several weeks of rehabilitation at SeaWorld San Diego.

SeaWorld San Diego returned four rescued California sea lions to the ocean Thursday after several weeks of rehabilitation, the park announced.

SeaWorld's rescue team found the four pups malnourished and dehydrated on San Diego's beaches in December and January. They were cared for at the park's Animal Health and Rescue Center by animal care specialists and veterinarians. The sea lions doubled their weight, were given a clean bill of health and returned to the wild approximately five miles off the coast of San Diego.

RELATED: SeaWorld Animal Care Staff Release Rescued Blue-Footed Booby Back Into Wild

According to animal experts at SeaWorld, this season has been busier than normal for rescues in Southern California. Typically, rescued animals this early in the season are adults or nearly adults. The majority of rescues so far this season have been pups and yearlings.

While it's difficult to know exactly why this season has higher numbers of sea lions needing rescue than usual, SeaWorld's animal experts speculate it might be related to winter storms impacting the ability of young sea lions to forage for food.

SeaWorld reminds the public to keep a safe distance from animals on the beach and to call the park's hotline at (800) 541-7325 if concerned about an animal that looks stranded or in need of help.

FEATURED PODCAST

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.