When sea lions are poisoned by domoic acid, it wreaks havoc on their bodies, according to Shester. The toxins enter the sea lion pups' bloodstream, which can cause seizures, heart disease and death. It can also cause neurological issues.
"A lot of times, domoic acid [poisoning] is like instant Alzheimers," Shester said. "The animals are basically very disoriented, they can't remember things, they lose track of where they are."
While it's not yet clear how this domoic acid outbreak will affect sea lions this year, it definitely won't help.