Denise Christ drove out to the coastline at 8 a.m. on a recent morning, scanning the horizon for a sick sea lion stranded on the rocks at Kiddie Beach, about 10 miles south of Ventura.
When she found the pinniped, she realized it was accompanied by two other animals that appeared to be dazed and shaking from seizures, and two more that were already dead and motionless in the sand.A
According to SFG, The stranding operations lead for Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute got to work, setting safety perimeters around the sea lions with signs warning beachgoers to keep their distance.
She took photos and recorded assessments of each animal’s physical condition to determine resources needed and the best course of action for their care, including possible transportation to their medical facility.
By the time Christ was finished, two more reports of sea lions in distress were already awaiting her response. As she continued her mileslong trek across the shore, seeking out the location of every animal, beachgoers approached to tell her about three or four others in the same vicinity that looked like they were in bad shape —
not just sea lions, but short-beaked common dolphins, too. Clusters of the animals floated in the water and smothered the tide line, disoriented and exhausted.
“You can’t help but feel like you are in the middle of a battle zone with sick, dying and deceased sea lions and dolphins everywhere,” Christ said. “The emotional component can be overwhelming at times.
We are educating people and consoling children who do not understand what they are seeing. We also feel helpless at times. We want to save every animal and we know we can’t.”
Since mid-May, the volunteer-led nonprofit organization has responded to hundreds of dead and dying marine mammals in the aftermath of a toxic algal bloom that experts are describing as the largest in Southern California’s recent history, with consistent cases reported from San Diego to Santa Barbara as some forecast models show potential risk of spread to Northern California in the coming weeks.
Scientists estimate more than 500 sick and dying sea lions and at least 100 deceased dolphins have washed ashore, but exact numbers have yet to be confirmed because of the sheer scale of the event.
The Tribulation is commencing..
Please repent, carry your cross daily and accept the free gift of Jesus Christ’s Death on the Cross for payment for your sins.
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