Hundreds of emaciated sea lion pups are being rescued in California

A sea lion pup at Sea World.
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Marine biologists in California are worried that more than 350 stranded sea lions have already been rescued from beaches in 2015, an extremely high number for so early in the year.

In comparison, in 2013 — a year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) called an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) — 1,300 sea lions were rescued between January and May. "During that year we rescued 19 California sea lions in January, this year we already rescued 87 pups in that same month," Sea World San Diego senior veterinarian Hendrick Nollens told NBC News. "So this event seems to be much larger."

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