Disturbing Footage of Beached Sea Lions Sparks Outrage

INSIDE EDITION reports on two women caught on tape kicking starving sea lions that had beached themselves in San Diego.

A disturbing surveillance video is causing outrage across the nation.

Two young women are seen kicking pregnant sea lions who have beached themselves ashore in San Diego.

One woman pulls the flippers of the sea lion before she sits on her. Then she terrorized another and pretended to club her, all while the other woman photographed their cruel prank.

The sea lions are just some of the hundreds of starving sea lions that have mysteriously swum to shore in just in the last month. There are more than five hundred sea lion pups in southern California alone.

The little guys are dehydrated and emaciated and they need help.

One by one, volunteers rescued the sea lions, sneaking up on them so they didn't run back into the water.
"It's the middle of March, we're already exceeded last years numbers we don't see an end in sight," said Peter Wallerstein of the Marine Animal Rescue.

It looked easy, but this was dangerous work.

"Their bite is 10 times the pressure of a pitbull," said Wallerstein.

Once the sea lions were inside the cages they were taken to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.

Inside, the sickest ones were hand-fed a mixture of liquified fish and Gatorade. Some are as small as 20 pounds, about one-third their normal size.

So what's going on in the deep blue sea? Some marine biologists believe warmer than normal ocean temperatures could be killing off the small fish the sea lions eat. The weakened pups beach themselves so they don't drown.

It's gotten so bad, one sea lion actually hitched a ride on a kayak to get closer to shore.

Until scientists figure out what's really happening, scenes like the one in southern California will continue, as they scramble to solve the mystery of the stranded sea lions.

If you see a sick or injured sea lion on the beach, you are cautioned to leave it alone and contact your local authorities.