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Sea lion and otter show resumes at SeaWorld San Diego

Sea lion and otter show resumes at SeaWorld San Diego
A trained sea lion performs at SeaWorld San Diego. The show was put on hiatus so trainers could assist in a rescue effort for sickly sea lion pups. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

After a three-week hiatus so trainers could assist in the rescue of a record number of sickly sea lion pups on California beaches, SeaWorld San Diego is set to resume its sea lion and otter show Thursday.

SeaWorld has rescued 579 marine mammals this year, including 557 sea lions, officials said. The park's goal is to provide sufficient care so the mammals are strong enough to return to the ocean within several weeks.

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While the reason for the pups' distress is unknown, researchers believe it is tied to a depletion of the sea lion's food source or unusually warm ocean temperatures that force sea lion mothers to swim long distances to find food, leaving them too exhausted to care for their young.

The sea lion show is set for 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2.45 p.m. at the Sea Lion and Otter Stadium.

The rescue effort is continuing.

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