ON THE WILD SIDE
Rescue efforts continue for two sea lions entangled in ocean trash
Multiple rescue attempts have been made to capture these sea lions, but each has resulted in the pinnipeds diving off the bobbing docks and swimming away. These kinds of rescues are approached carefully because of the danger of further stressing the sea lions, and as a result, making the entanglement tighter. Chasing these animals can cause them additional stress and The Marine Mammal Center, along with the National Marine Fisheries Service, advises against such measures.
The sea lions have not been seen at Pier 39 since July 26, when the last rescue was attempted. For now, rescuers will wait and see if new reports come in of the sea lions hauling out somewhere, preferably on land where a more successful rescue effort can be made.
Earlier this year, the Marine Mammal Center rescued another entangled sea lion named Orseycorn and was able to remove the ocean trash entanglement, provide him with medical care, and release him back to the ocean. Another difficult sea lion rescue the center participated in was that of Abagnale in 2009. Both his mouth and neck were tightly wrapped in monofilament fishing line, most likely as a result of foraging. The team was finally able to capture him after 20 attempts.
Every year, approximately 8 percent of the marine mammals the Marine Mammal Center takes in have been entangled in ocean trash – usually fishing line and nets.