May/22/09 04:39 PM
The female California sea lion seen on Lincoln Park beaches (see Jan 25, 2009, archived story) was found dead on Whidbey Island from domoic acid poisoning. The seemingly healthy animal was being monitored by NOAA, with reports of the animal swimming between Vashon, West Seattle and Whidbey Island. According to NOAA’s stranding expert this was one of only two known females in Puget Sound. Females typically do not migrate to our area and oftentimes when they do it is believed to be symptomatic of the mental confusion caused by domoic acid. To read in depth about domoic poisoning caused by toxic algal blooms, please click here.