The Americas

Environmentalists free orphaned sea lions near Peru capital

  • A young sea lion, nicknamed Rodrigo, looks up at the photographer before diving into the coastal waters of the Palomino Islands, Peru, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. Peru's Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals, or ORCA, brought nine sea lions back to health and released them into the sea near a reserve where hundreds of others sea lions live on Friday. Each sea lion is approximately seven months old and had been orphaned on the coast of Lima. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

    A young sea lion, nicknamed Rodrigo, looks up at the photographer before diving into the coastal waters of the Palomino Islands, Peru, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. Peru's Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals, or ORCA, brought nine sea lions back to health and released them into the sea near a reserve where hundreds of others sea lions live on Friday. Each sea lion is approximately seven months old and had been orphaned on the coast of Lima. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)  (The Associated Press)

  • A group of rehabilitated sea lions dive off a coast guard boat into the coastal waters of the Palomino Islands, Peru, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. Peru's Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals, or ORCA, brought nine sea lions back to health and released them into the sea near a reserve where hundreds of others sea lions live on Friday. Each sea lion is approximately seven months old and had been orphaned on the coast of Lima. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

    A group of rehabilitated sea lions dive off a coast guard boat into the coastal waters of the Palomino Islands, Peru, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. Peru's Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals, or ORCA, brought nine sea lions back to health and released them into the sea near a reserve where hundreds of others sea lions live on Friday. Each sea lion is approximately seven months old and had been orphaned on the coast of Lima. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Hundred of sea lions rest on Palomino Islands, near the port of Callao, Peru, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. Peru's Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals, or ORCA, brought nine orphaned sea lions back to health and released them on Friday, into the ocean waters off the coast of the Palomino Islands where hundreds of others sea lions live. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

    Hundred of sea lions rest on Palomino Islands, near the port of Callao, Peru, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. Peru's Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals, or ORCA, brought nine orphaned sea lions back to health and released them on Friday, into the ocean waters off the coast of the Palomino Islands where hundreds of others sea lions live. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)  (The Associated Press)

Nine orphaned sea lions have a new home in Peru.

A Peruvian environmental organization nursed the nine to health and returned them to the sea on Friday at the Palomino Islands, a few miles (kilometers) off the coast of Callao, the country's main port.

The sea lions slid out of their dog-type pet carriers and dove over the side of the boat near a small island crowded with others of their species.

Carlos Yaipen heads the Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals that cared for the nine for several months and freed them.

He says the animals lost their mothers off the coast. He says the sea lions' environment is being harmed by overfishing, making the animals more vulnerable.