SeaWorld rescues sick sea lion, now caring for newborn sea pup

Posted at 6:28 PM, Apr 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 19:21:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - SeaWorld San Diego was surprised with the birth of a sea pup, after rescuing a sick sea lion earlier this week.

A sea lion was rescued on an Oceanside beach on Tuesday, exhibiting symptoms of domoic acid toxicity, according to SeaWorld San Diego. Domoic acid is produced by algae and accumulates in shellfish. Sea lions, otters, and even humans can become sick after ingesting contaminated the shellfish.

While in their care, SeaWorld said the mother sea lion gave birth to a female sea pup between midnight and 4 a.m. Wednesday.

SeaWorld's rescue team is now caring for the newborn.

"Right now, because mom is so sick, she's not doing a great job of being a mom," a SeaWorld Rescue Team member named Kevin said in a Facebook Live video. "She's very tired and not attentive to the care of this animal. So right now, our responsibility is to be this animal's caregiver.

"We're hoping that mom will start feeling better in a day or two and that they will bond and she will raise it from that point."

(Check out the full Facebook Live video from SeaWorld below.)

Currently, the team is providing round-the-clock care for the infant sea lion, which includes the use of a feeding tube with sea lion baby formula. The formula helps keep the pup hydrated, full, and stay energized.

The pup is a healthy and doing well overall, according to SeaWorld  San Diego veterinarian Dr. Kelsey Herrick said in the video.

"The goal is to help the mother regain her health and be reunited with her pup," David Koontz, director of communications at SeaWorld San Diego, said in a release.


Mark Saunders is a KGTV digital producer. Follow him on Twitter at @10NewsSaunders.