Sea Lions. Photo courtesy SeaWorld Entertainment.
Sea Lions. Photo courtesy SeaWorld Entertainment.

SeaWorld San Diego announced Monday that it will provide $5,000 each to four organizations in Southern California that rescue marine mammals, amid a record-breaking year for rescues of sea lions along the coast.

The donations will go to the Marine Mammal Care Center of San Pedro, Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, California Wildlife Center in Malibu and Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife in Santa Barbara.

The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito will also get $5,000, as will Moorpark College in Ventura County. Students in that school’s Exotic Animal Training and Management Program are helping SeaWorld care for the animals, which are generally arriving at the park in a malnourished condition.

Park officials said more than 500 rescued marine mammals have been brought to SeaWorld so far this year, well above the record for a full year set in 1983. More than 480 of those rescued were sea lions.

Statewide, the count has topped 1,600.

Staff from other SeaWorld Entertainment facilities have come to San Diego to help care for the animals.

The park has also suspended its sea lion, otter and beluga whale shows so local staff can assist.

— City News Service

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