Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Environment

SeaWorld Now Caring For 15 Sea Lions, 6 Seals From Oil Spill

A toothbrush is used to gently remove oil around a California sea lion’s eyes. The pup was rescued from the Refugio Beach oil spill and transported to SeaWorld San Diego’s Oiled Wildlife Care Center on May 23, 2015.
Mike Aguilera
A toothbrush is used to gently remove oil around a California sea lion’s eyes. The pup was rescued from the Refugio Beach oil spill and transported to SeaWorld San Diego’s Oiled Wildlife Care Center on May 23, 2015.

SeaWorld San Diego reported Thursday that specialists are taking care of 15 sea lions and six elephant seals affected by last week's oil pipeline rupture near Santa Barbara, after receiving four more of the marine mammals Wednesday night.

The animals were soaked as up to 105,000 gallons of oil spilled near Refugio Beach.

Two out of four sea lions that were among the latest arrivals were covered with oil over about half of their bodies, while the others were minimally coated with oil, according to SeaWorld.

A sea lion coated in crude oil from a ruptured pipeline in Santa Barbara is cleaned at SeaWorld’s Oiled Wildlife Care Center.
SeaWorld
A sea lion coated in crude oil from a ruptured pipeline in Santa Barbara is cleaned at SeaWorld’s Oiled Wildlife Care Center.

They were hydrated after they arrived, had blood drawn and were examined by veterinarians. SeaWorld officials said their conditions have to be stabilized before the oil can be removed from their skin.

The 21 marine mammals at SeaWorld's Oiled Wildlife Care Center are all in guarded condition, according to SeaWorld. Two sea lions brought to the facility earlier did not survive.

Three members of SeaWorld's animal rescue team are at the beach to assist the Oiled Wildlife Care Network with affected marine life, and numerous other workers remained on standby.