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Emergency care center opens for marine animals sickened by toxic algae bloom

Helping sick sea lions in San Pedro
Helping sick sea lions in San Pedro 02:19

Los Angeles Unified and the Marine Mammal Care Center is partnering up to offer a temporary outdoor care center to treat sick sea lions who are being threatened by a toxic algal bloom.  

The emergency center is being set up on LAUSD property in San Pedro after the main center became overcapacity as the incidents for sick animals increase.

Many seals have been acting out of character on local beaches and the Pacific Marine Center said the behavior might be from the toxic algae bloom.  

On Monday, June 26, two beaches in Orange County were closed after multiple beachgoers were attacked by seals. 

The first happened at Strands Beach when a seal bit two different people, sending both to urgent care for their injuries. Salt Creek Beach also closed after a seal was acting abnormally.

Both beaches re-opened to the public at 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

In the first week of June, the rapid growth of harmful algae along parts of southern California's coast is believed to have killed hundreds of sea lions and close to 60 dolphins.

The Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute said they filed more than 1,000 reports of sick and dead marine mammals within just one week.  

Officials said the neurotoxin released by the toxic algae bloom can cause seizures and even death to the animals in the water.

Beachgoers are urged to stay clear of the marine animals since they can become aggressive.

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