Little article written on Free People's Blog on an update about Californian Seal Pups washing ashore
To be honest, I wasn’t going to talk about wildlife today.
Instead I had an earth-friendly DIY post planned. That initial story quickly took a backseat to the information I wanted to share today. During a recent photo shoot on a popular Southern California beach, we came face to face with hungry sea lion pups abandoned on the shore. We were completely taken aback and quickly tried to figure out what we should or could do. I remember learning when I was young to never approach wildlife but rather figure out if the animal is hurt and needs support. In our case, the pups have been washing ashore due to fatigue, hunger, and weakness. Sea lions, in addition to many other marine mammals, rely on anchovies and sardines for nourishment, but higher than normal water temperatures have caused the fish to move to deeper, cooler waters. In turn, the mothers have been forced to hunt for food in deeper waters, therefore leaving their pups alone for longer periods of time.
Though this unfortunate and sad ordeal is happening in Southern California, many other species around the world are being challenged due to climate change and various environmental and human factors. Wildlife rescue organizations need additional support now more than ever in terms of volunteer work, spreading awareness, and donations. Please check out the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA) here for more information regarding what you can do to help in your city. The NWRA is “dedicated to improving and promoting the profession of wildlife rehabilitation and its contributions to preserving natural ecosystems.” Please check it out, learn about what we can do to assist, and help spread the word!
While on location this week, we saw a baby sea lion being rescued by three volunteers at California Wildlife Center, a non-profit based in Malibu, California. The team works hard to help as many sea lion pups as possible, but the demand is quickly outgrowing the support and aid. The Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, the largest Southern California center for marine mammal rehabilitation, is reporting five times as many sea lion pups in serious distress as usual and more than twice as many for the same time period in 2013, when the number of sea lion deaths was officially declared an unusual mortality event. Wildlife rescue centers are feeling overwhelmed and cannot physically respond to every unfortunate sea lion situation. Visit Marine Mammal Care Center, for more information on ways you can help!
If you want more information or want to learn how you can help, please visit the California Wildlife Rescue website here or find a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center near you here! If you are in the Southern California area and see a marine mammal in need, please call 310-548-5677 or 310-458-WILD.
You can also learn about what to do if you come across an animal that needs help, marine or not, here.