Rescued sea lion dies

A sea lion cub sits on a rock in Malibu

A sea lion that was rescued from Big Rock on Christmas Day has died, California Wildlife Center and Marine Mammal Care Center officials confirmed.

Despite earlier reports that the sea lion was expected to recover, the mammal did not survive.

The California Wildlife Center received a call from local residents late Christmas Eve reporting a sea lion stranded on a rock. Officials had to wait until the next day when it was light and low tide to reach the animal. Residents estimated the sea lion had already been stranded at Big Rock for a couple days before Christmas.

The sea lion was “extremely emaciated” and dehydrated, wildlife center Marine Mammal Coordinator Jeff Hall said. The animal was taken to the Wildlife Center to be treated before being transported to the Marine Mammal Care Center for further medical care.

However, the animal was already too sick and unable to recover, veterinarian Lauren Palmer explained. The cause of death is not yet confirmed but it was probably hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, Palmer said.