Rehabilitated Sea Lions Return to Ocean in San Diego

Three sea lions and an elephant seal were rescued after the Refugio oil spill in May have been returned back to ocean near San Diego, officials said this week.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife rescued a total of 62 animals following the ruptured pipeline near Santa Barbara, and took them to SeaWorld San Diego. There, they were cleaned and rehabilitated.

The four animals were deemed ready to be released into the wild, officials said.

The animals were hurt at the Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara, where a broken oil pipe spilled about 105,000 gallons of oil into the ocean.

Many have been rehabilitated, but sadly some have died.

California sea lions wear satellite tags as they swim free so scientists can track their activities following rehabilitation.

Department of Fish and Wildfire officials said they do not release animals back into the wild until they are in the best condition and have the best chances of living a normal lifespan in the wild.

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