PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An increased number of stranded California sea lions have been appearing along the Oregon Coast due to leptospirosis, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.
Leptospirosis is a naturally occurring bacteria that has the potential to make dogs, livestock, wildlife and even people sick.
Dogs have the highest risk of getting the disease, so beachgoers are urged to keep dogs on leashes and at least 150 feet from living or dead sea lions.
The risk of spreading to humans is low.
It’s spread when an animal or person comes in contact with the bodily fluids of an infected or dead sea lion.
Leptospirosis outbreaks can result in increased strandings and mortalities for sea lions.
This current outbreak, which began in July 2022, has led to a documented 150 sick or dead sea lions along the Oregon Coast, according to the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
Any sick or injured seals, sea lions, whales or dolphins can be reported to the Oregon State Police at 1-800-452-7888.