An 8-month-old female harbor seal, known as Pup 49, swims in a pool at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., March 27, 2013. The pup, rescued in July 2012 on a beach in Plymouth, Mass., was taken to Mystic for treatment, where veterinarians amputated a hind flipper due to concerns for her health. Rodrique Ngowi/AP
A loggerhead turtle tries for an early escape as it waits, with turtles in other containers, to be released back into the wild. Fifty-two sea stranded turtles – including loggerhead, Kemp's ridley, and green – were rescued off the Massachusetts coast in the fall of 2012, and were released at Florida's Little Talbot Island State Park on April 7, 2013, after arriving in Jacksonville, Fla., by caravan. Bob Mack/The Florida Times-Union/AP
A veterinarian from the Zoological Foundation of El Salvador (FUNZEL) uses a stethoscope on a female dolphin in San Diego Oct. 25, 2012. The female and a male dolphin were rescued by local fishermen, who found them beached in two different spots along the coastline. Ulises Rodriguez/Reuters
Rescued California sea lion pups receive refuge at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, Calif., March 13, 2013. The center has been overwhelmed by a large number of malnourished and dehydrated pups coming to shore along the Orange County coastline. Mike Blake/Reuters
People rescue a giant turtle along the Jomo Kenyatta public beach in the coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya, on Feb. 16, 2009. Three turtles had drifted to the shores of Indian Ocean, and one was killed by fishermen fishing illegally. Joseph Okanga/Reuters
During a campaign to save sea turtles, baby turtles make their way into the ocean upon their release on Lampuuk beach in Aceh Besar, Indonesia, April 8, 2013. Sea turtles in Indonesia have long suffered from poaching for their meat, fat, shells, and eggs. Heri Juanda/AP
Three killer whales surface through a breathing hole in the ice of Hudson Bay near the community of Inukjuak, Quebec, Jan. 9, 2013. The three were among several whales trapped in the sea ice of the Hudson Bay. The whales took turns breathing through a hole in the ice about the size of a pickup truck. Maggie Okituk/Reuters
Villagers pour water on a beached whale at Kampung Kuala Nenasi, east of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Oct. 13, 2008. The 10-meter-long, three-ton whale was found beached during low tide in the South China Sea. Utusan Malaysia/Reuters
A rescued manatee – exposed to a harmful algal bloom, or 'red tide,' in southwest Florida – comes up for air during treatment at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Fla., March 13, 2013. Steve Nesius/Reuters
Manatee rehab team members hold down a rescued manatee during treatment at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Fla. 'Red tide,' a harmful algal bloom, has killed 241 manatees in 2013, as of early srping. The figure already surpasses the highest annual number of such manatee deaths on record: 151 in 1996. Steve Nesius/Reuters
Volunteer Kevin Jackson cleans oil from a map turtle Oct. 6, 2010, at an emergency wildlife response center set up by Enbridge Inc. in Marshall, Mich. Of the 2,300 animals captured and cared for after a late-July oil spill polluted the Kalamazoo River, almost 90 percent survived. Al Goldis/AP/File
Students Daniel Holtzschue and Nicole McEwen of Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C., help one of 19 beached pilot whales on Noordhoek Beach in South Africa, March 24, 2013. The students, on a goodwill mission for spring break, came upon the rescue mission and worked for three hours to keep the whales alive. Katie D. Kirkland/Providence Day School/AP
Scientists say the sea lions reveal 'important things about what is going on in our oceans.' Food shortages and disease are being looked at as possible causes of the 'unusual mortality event' in California.
California’s sea lions, usually celebrated for their entertaining, prankster ways and doglike barks, are making very different headlines right now. Young pups are washing up dehydrated and dying, from Monterey to San Diego, in record numbers.