SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The Marine Mammal Center is almost out of room because new patients keep coming in every day, mostly because of malnutrition.
Scientists said the El Nino conditions in the Pacific are mostly to blame.
Hundreds of elephant seals, harbor seals, and sea lions are filling the cages and pools of the Marine Mammal Center. Rescue crews are bringing them in daily because they simply don’t have enough to eat.
The one’s most affected are young sea lions and elephant seals.
The El Nino conditions have forced the mackerel and the sardines, and other fish that are the sea creatures’ main diet, to head north where the water is colder. The center says there are more animals than average being treated.
Dr. Shawn Johnson is the lead veterinarian at the center and said the animals are starving because the main food source is scarce and that is making the animals too weak for them to survive and in need of rescue.
Scientists said it is unclear how long the El Nino conditions will be in the ocean and said they expect the Marine Mammal Center to stay full until the fish come back.
Watch the above video to see Jeff Bush’s full report.