Georgia Aquarium is home to multiple rescued sea lions and is dedicated to the preservation of this charismatic species and its natural habitat for years to come.
Since 2015, Georgia Aquarium has sent veterinary and animal care staff on multiple occasions to assist marine mammal centers along the coast of California with the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded sea lions. Many of these animals were affected by an Unusual Mortality Event (UME), in which unprecedented number of young sea lions have washed ashore, emaciated and malnourished. Findings suggest that these strandings are likely a result of a dramatic shift in the availability of certain prey species that are an important food source for nursing sea lion mothers.
Several of the sea lions that now call Georgia Aquarium home are also rescues from Unusual Mortality Events. Despite the attempts of marine mammal centers to rehabilitate and release stranded sea lions, some of these young animals continue to strand along the shore, unable to survive on their own. When this happens, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) may deem them non-releasable, and a permanent home must be found. Georgia Aquarium is proud to be the forever home of multiple California sea lions in the Pier 225 gallery, where they now receive state-of-the-art veterinary care and serve as ambassadors for their species, by helping to teach millions of guests each year about the conservation challenges sea lions face in the ocean.