More sick sea lion pups stranded
Unusually warm ocean water along the US West Coast has been blamed for four times more sick and dying sea lion pups getting stranded on California beaches this year.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said about 940 sick and starving young sea lions have washed up on California beaches this year.
NOAA stranding co-ordinator for the West Coast region Justin Viezbicke said that compares with about 225 sea lion strandings that officials would normally see between January and April.
The sea lions are being treated at rehabilitation centres between San Diego and San Francisco.
Scientists say warmer coastal waters are forcing nursing mothers in the Channel Islands or Mexico to head out further for food, leaving their young behind for too long. An estimated 300,000 sea lions live from the Mexican border to Washington State.