The crisis facing California sea lions

State officials have declared an “unusual mortality event” for California sea lions, after an unusually high number of pups barely clinging to life have recently washed ashore.

For a sense of the sheer number of pups who have reportedly been found washed up:

In Los Angeles County, nearly 400 pups have been stranded since the beginning of the year. Last year, 36 were reported during that stretch.

As of March 24, officials said, 214 sea lions were reported stranded in San Diego County, 189 in Orange County, 108 in Santa Barbara County and 42 in Ventura County.

Read more from reporter Rick Rojas here.

Photos: Allen J. Schaben, Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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