SeaWorld to get some big help saving sea lions - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SeaWorld to get some big help saving sea lions

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Sick and starving sea lions are washing up on our beaches in record numbers. SeaWorld rescuers say they're overwhelmed, but now a San Diego-based foundation is stepping up to help.

The Waitt Foundation, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization, is helping with the effort, and is encouraging others to donate money as well.

In just three months, SeaWorld has already rescued 475 sea lion pups, breaking the record 474 rescues in all of 1983.

"These animals are showing up too young, too early. They're extremely emaciated. They are skin and bones, dehydrated. They have a number of secondary infections," Hendrick Nollens of SeaWorld said.

The rescues are becoming so common, even regular citizens are now recording them.

Because staff is so busy, workers are on 12- to 14-hour shifts. They've also expanded their rescue teams. After about eight weeks of care, these creatures are released into the ocean.

"It's very gratifying to help wildlife in need in such numbers, and especially right here in our backyard," Nollens said.

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