Sea Lions Returned To Ocean After Oil Spill

photos by SeaWorld
photos by SeaWorld

San Diego, CA – Two of three California sea lions, treated in San Diego for exposure to oil, were returned to the Pacific Ocean over the weekend.

Three sea lions and an elephant seal were brought to SeaWorld San Diego for treatment in May, following an oil spill near Santa Barbara.  They were among 25 survivors out of the 62 oil-covered marine mammals brought from Refugio State Beach to SeaWorld.

According to the Park’s Kelly Terry, the animals had to be assessed, stabilized and washed by animal care staff and were later fed, hydrated and provided medication. Another 37 of the marine mammals brought to the park died.

sea lions 2 (800x640) Survivors were rehabilitated in the park’s Animal Rescue Center, and the rest will be released over the next few  weeks, as soon as they reach a good weight, are free of infection and can compete for food, according to SeaWorld.

The demand on employees became so great that the park had to suspend its sea lion and otter shows for a couple of  weeks in April.