Hundreds more starving sea lions continue to wash up on West CoastThe Sea Lion die-off is not letting up and According to Shawn Johnson, the director of veterinary science at Sausalito’s Marine Mammal Center, for the third year out of five, thousands of sea lion pups have beached themselves in an effort to survive. The sea lions are too young to be without their mothers and, as a result, are not able to fend for themselves in the water. After trying desperately to find food, the sea lions came ashore — nothing but skin and bones and a mass of internal parasites, and too weak to go on any longer. The pups are coming from their breeding grounds at the Channel Islands. The primary reason for the breeding grounds’ location is due to the seasonal swells of prey sardines, anchovies and more that the Pacific Ocean has historically brought to the shores of the islands. As the numbers of fish drop, the mothers of these sea lion pups must leave them to fend for themselves for longer periods of time as they seek to forage for food. The sea lions from the Channel Islands, a long chain of eight islands off the coast of Southern California, have resulted in over 1,100 rescues in February 2015 — an increase of more than five times the normal number. The pups are desperately trying to get out of the ocean and are being found on homeowners’ decks, inside flower pots, under fishing piers, on rocky cliffs, along inlets and in other unusual spots. FULL REPORT