Sea lions Grace and Evanora were released back into the ocean by the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) in Laguna Beach this week. They were found stranded on a San Clemente beach back in February and in March. When rescued, Grace was weighing in at only 26 pounds, about half of what she should have weighed for her age. Her condition was so critical and required feeding assistance for over two months. Evanora was also significantly underweight at only 22 pounds and suffering from facial lacerations.
During the winter and spring, hundreds of malnourished sea lion pups were discovered all along Southern California beaches in one of the largest recorded mass-stranding. The cause of the large increase over previous years remains unclear.