1,000 Sea Lions Washed Ashore

    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 05:  "RIP" is shown scrawled near a dead sea lion pup after it was found on Dockweiler State Beach on April 5, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. All along the California coast, sea lions have been getting stranded in great numbers since January for reasons unknown. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration estimates that in the first three months of 2013, more than 900 malnourished sea lions have been rescued in the region compared to 100 during the same time period one year ago. Officials have declared an "unusual mortality event" for the California sea lion, a designation that prompts immediate federal response.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

    Kevork Djansezian

    More than 1,000 starving sea lions have washed ashore in Southern California in recent months, prompting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to declare an “unusual mortality event” for the mammals. Peter Wallerstein, the Marine Animal Rescue director for Friends for Animals, said he has picked up 300 sick and dying sea lion pups, after fielding calls from concerned residents who spot them on the beach. The National Marine Fisheries Service says the likely cause is that the sea lions’ main prey, the smaller fish they feed on, have disappeared. While some are taken to centers, overcrowding has forced rescuers to return some to the water.

    Read it at NPR