LAGUNA BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Four California sea lions were released on Sunday after being rehabilitated in Laguna Beach.
Chutney, Plymouth, Sabrina, and Mimi were released by the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) around 9:00 a.m., in Crescent Bay.READ MORE: See Who Won During The Golden Globe Awards
The PMCC videotaped the release, and posted the video to their YouTube channel:
In January, eateries in Laguna Beach donated $10,000 to the PMMC to help treat an influx of sick sea lions that washed ashore.
The money was used to provide food, medicine, medical staff time, and transportation to and from the beach for marine mammals in need of medical attention.READ MORE: 2 Riverside Co. Sheriff's Deputies Recovering After Being Hit By Delivery Van; 2 Women Killed
PMMC still has about 90 seals and sea lions in rehab.
“They’re born at around 15 pounds and they were coming it at 20; and that’s after they’re like four or five months [old],” said PMMC’s John Cunningham. “There’s just not the amount of food – the schooling fish – that these animals depend on.”
Without enough fish near the coast, experts say mothers have to swim further, leaving their pups behind.
“The mothers are spending longer times away from their pups, they’re having a harder time finding fish. So they’re underweight as well as their pups,” said PMMC’s Keith Matassa.MORE NEWS: Video: Multiple Trees Fall On Homes, Leading To Injuries During Severe Winds
According to PMCC officials, sea lions tend to beach themselves to stay warm and dry when feeling ill. Marine animals are not released back into the ocean until optimal weight is gained, and they are competing for food.