Severely malnourished sea lion pup with diver's mask wrapped around its neck rescued
The one-year-old male pup was found by experts from Sea World San Diego's rescue team, who believe he was either on the verge of starving to death or being strangled by the mask that was almost choking him
Rescuers discovered a critically malnourished sea lion pup in Encinitas, California, with a diver's mask wrapped around its neck. According to reports, the embattled sea creature was also severely dehydrated. The one-year-old male pup was found by experts from Sea World San Diego's rescue team, who believe he was either on the verge of starving to death or being strangled by the mask that was almost choking him, stated a Mirror report.
The mask appeared to have been around the pup's neck for a number of weeks and was preventing him from looking for food or eating.
Most healthy pups of this age weigh around 25-30 kg (55-60lbs) experts said. However, this sea lion was found to weigh only 14.5kg (32lbs). While rescuers were able to cut the mask off on the beach itself, they found an infected wound hidden underneath which required immediate medical attention.
"Other than the neck wound and malnourishment, the pup appears to be in generally good health," a statement from SeaWorld explained. "The park's veterinarians and the animal care staff will continue to monitor the pup during his rehabilitation and hope to return him to the ocean in the next few months."
It is still unclear where the mask came from. Nonetheless, the tragic discovery throws light on the impact of human waste and rubbish in the oceans. What's more? this isn't an isolated case. According to previous studies, about 700 species of sea life have encountered marine debris, with over 92% of the garbage being plastic.
Meanwhile, over 17% of species affected by plastic waste are now featured on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species.
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