WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES IN THIS STORY AND VIDEO
"We just came down the stairs and little sea lions are being washed on to shore dying," Neda Soderqvist says in a video she posted on her Facebook Page after making the discovery with her family at State Dume State Beach.
"It was devastating to see a bunch of sea lions just lyind dead. It wasn't one or two it was six or eight," Soderqvist said to FOX 11's Christine O'Donnell.
The sight was especially difficult for her seven-year-old daughter Isabella Soderqvist. "They came up and just died right in front of us," Isabella said. "I was crying to my mom and I said I was really emotional so i wanted to go."
Earlier in the week, Kristin Thames says stumbled across the same devastating scene. "If you look down at the beach you'll see them, and their pups are looking for their mothers," Thames said. She snapped pictures of women from the California Wildlife Center's rescuing some of the sea lions. They were able to carry three pups away in a crate, but had to leave dozens more.
"They're only allowed to take three sea lion pups because there's not enough space at the rescue centers for more," Thames said, "it's really sad."
While, no one with the California Wildlife Center was available for a comment on Sunday, A recording on the hotline states they're experiencing an "unprecedented year of sea lion strandings."
The recording continues "due to the high number of reported animals we may nog be able to return your call...we may not respond to the animal on the day of report."
NOAA Fisheries says the warmer than average sea surface temperatures may be a factor in the strandings. They say the higher temperatures affect the sea lion's food.
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