Sea lion brought to SeaWorld from Santa Barbara County oil spill dies

A sea lion sent to SeaWorld San Diego after being caught in the oil spill at Refugio State Beach has died, but two other rescued animals that had been covered with oil continue to receive treatment, park officials said Saturday.

The male sea lion arrived in critical condition and was immediately hydrated and washed off. “Unfortunately, it passed away in the early morning hours,” park spokesman Kat Marin said.

A necropsy is planned to determine the cause of death.

A sea lion and an elephant seal are being treated by veterinarians and other SeaWorld rescue team members. Officials are cautiously optimistic about their survival.


The sea lion that died had been brought to SeaWorld on Thursday. The two other animals were brought Friday night.

At 4 a.m. Sunday, two SeaWorld specialists left for Santa Barbara County to help with the wildlife rescue effort, answering a request from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network’s unified command.

“SeaWorld’s team of 100 personnel who are trained and ready to aid in the event of an oil spill will remain standing by and will deploy if called,” said Marin.