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Local SeaWorld trainers to aid in sea lion rescue

More than 400 sea lion pups have washed ashore in California


SAN ANTONIO – Two sea lion trainers from SeaWorld of San Antonio are going to San Diego to help with the ongoing rescue of hundreds of sea lion pups.

"We care for the animals here within our park, but we also want to extend that to animals that are out in the ocean and see if we can make a difference," said SeaWorld of San Antonio Vice President of Zoological Operations Chris Bellows.

More than 400 malnourished, underweight and dehydrated pups have washed up on the California shore this year. Scientists believe rising water temperatures are to blame.

"Fish kind of go for the cooler water, so that means those moms and pups are having to travel longer distances to find the food, which means the pups aren't nursing as often," Bellows said.  

The staggering amount of sea lions has forced SeaWorld San Diego to suspend its popular sea lion show.

"We basically are rehabilitating two years worth of what we normally rescue," said Jody Westberg, with SeaWorld San Diego.

The San Antonio trainers will be joined by their counterparts from SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.

The sea lion and otter show in San Antonio is scheduled to resume in May.