OFF THE COAST OF CALLAO, Peru — 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.