Orange County's Pacific Marine Mammal Center has been experiencing record numbers of sick and injured sea lions this month -- the most they have ever had in the center's 42-year history, according to PMMC Executive Director Keith Matassa.
The malnourished creatures have been rescued from local beaches such as Newport Beach. Twelve sea lions were brought to the center this past weekend (March 16-17), increasing their capacity to 110 marine mammals -- 104 sea lions, one fur seal, and five elephant seals.
Last year at this time, the PMMC housed a total of 12 sea lions.
As Matassa points out in the above video, no one knows what exactly is causing all these sea lions to turn up sick, injured and starving on the beaches of Orange County -- right now, the reasons can only be speculated.
If you see a sick or injured sea lion or seal on the beach, you're cautioned to leave it alone and call the PMMC at 949-494-3050. A rescue crew will arrive and transport the animal back to the center and give it proper care.
And when they're all better, this happens.