Alarming number of unhealthy seal pups turning up on California coast
An alarming number of fur seal pups are turning up, emaciated and weak, on the coast of California, prompting marine experts to warn that it could be a sign of a potential oceanic distress.
Jeff Boehm, executive director of the Marine Mammal Center, said a record number of unhealthy northern fur seal pups were found stranded on beaches. Most of the stranded pups weigh only slightly more than the typical birth weight for the species.
Speaking about the poor health condition of the turning up seal pups, Boehm said, “They’re adorable, but on the other hand they’re these little bags of skin and bones.”
As of Saturday, the Marine Mammal Center had taken in nearly 90 northern fur seals. Marine experts estimate that these seals are between 4 and 5 months old. According to data available with the center, the previous record for these seals founded stranded on shore was 31 pups in 2006.
Usually, these seals live in the Pacific Ocean and near islands and are rarely found on shore.
The increasing number of stranded northern fur seals is the latest challenge in a string of alarming events that experts have been struggling for a long time to address. Previously, experts were struggled to address an unusual mortality rate among California sea lions.
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