- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Fourteen of 17 sea lions injured by chlorine contamination at a rehab center have been returned to the ocean off Southern California.

Mary Beth Steen of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center says a crowd of spectators cheered as the mammals were released into the waves Tuesday morning at Laguna Beach.

Police believe someone put chlorine in the water filtration system April 27 at the center, which works to rescue, rehabilitate and release sea lions. Authorities are still searching for suspects and a $2,500 reward has been offered in the case.

The chlorine got into one of the facility’s saltwater pools and sea lions from that area had swollen eyes.

Steen says the remaining three sea lions need further nursing before they can head back to their natural habitat.

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