Smithsonian: Major Disease Outbreak Strikes California Sea Lions

Photo of Sea Lion from


Leptospirosis in surging in Los Angeles Sea Lions. This disease affects Sea Lions on a ‘semi-regular’ cycle, however, it is believed that global warming and migrating fish are leading to increased levels. Warmer water temperatures are shown to increase the prevalence of algal blooms which emit neurotoxins. These affect the sea lion’s brain and an increase of strokes and deaths have occurred as a result. This years deaths due to Leptospirosis is projected to break the record for more than 300 deaths.

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