SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Four rescued sea lion pups and a northern fur seal were released back into the ocean after rehabilitating at SeaWorld.
The fur seal was rescued on Mission Beach on Dec. 30, 2019, and the four sea lion pups came into SeaWorld's care over the past two months. All the animals were malnourished and dehydrated, animal care experts said.
During their rehabilitation, the animals doubled in weight and were given a clean bill of health by SeaWorld veterinarians. The animals' care givers also made sure the animals could demonstrate they were able to fend for themselves before they were returned to the sea.
SeaWorld released the five animals about five miles west of Scripps Pier near La Jolla.
Last month, the park released another four sea lions who were under their care back into the ocean.
Since the start of 2020, SeaWorld says it has rescued nearly 20 sea lions and seals.
SeaWorld told 10News in January that rescuers have seen an unusually large number — about three times the normal amount — of sea lion rescues this winter.
"The winter storms may be pushing schools of fish out further than seal lion pups can get to. That's probably the reason why they might not find as much fish as they normally would," said Jennifer Zarate, SeaWorld Senior Animal Care Specialist.