(Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Team)
(Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Team)

In the past two and a half months, the Marine Mammal Rescue Team has rescued over 90 seals, sea lions and elephant seal pups, and over 80 birds covered in oil from local beaches.

Victoria Harris, interim executive director with the team, said the mammals that are being found are emaciated, or severely malnourished.

“They’re clearly not getting enough food,” she said.

The majority of birds being rescued are common murres, which is a species that lives entirely on water. Harris said the birds may have oil on them as a result of natural seepage somewhere off of Point Dume.

“If it’s naturally occurring, I don’t know if there’s anything that we can do,” Harris said.

If a marine mammal or bird is found, do not approach the animal, team members said. Watch the animal from a distance of at least 50 feet. Note physical characteristics and the animal’s condition, then determine the exact location of the animal. Do not touch, pick up, feed, or pour water on the animal.

After taking these steps, call the California Wildlife Center emergency hotline at (310) 458-9453.

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