Crews with the Marine Mammal Center are looking for at least one or possibly two California sea lions spotted with an entanglement around its neck and head along the San Francisco coastline Friday night and this afternoon, a center spokesman said today.
A sea lion was spotted late Friday night at Pier 39, and crews went out to see if they could rescue it, center spokesman Jim Oswald said.
However, because “it was dark and there’s no good way to rescue an animal on a floating dock,” the decision was made to try to rescue the sea lion in the morning, Oswald said.
When crews returned to the dock this morning though, the animal dove into the water and was not found despite the efforts of a group from the center that patrolled the nearby waters for several hours today, according to Oswald.
Around 4 p.m., a sea lion was spotted again, this time at the Hyde Street Pier. A crew went out for another rescue attempt, but the animal eluded them, Oswald said. The crew stopped again when it got dark tonight, he said.
After reviewing video footage shot of the animal, Marine Mammal Center officials believe the rescue attempts may have been for two separate sea lions, according to Oswald.
He said while it doesn’t appear to be the same animal, both sea lions are dealing with a similar entanglement, what looked like a fishing line around its neck and head.
A fishing line is “pretty dangerous because we don’t know if there are hooks in it,” Oswald said.
He said he did not know if a search for the sea lion or sea lions would resume tomorrow.
“Generally we rely on people to call, so we’ll just have to see what happens,” Oswald said. “The big thing is doing it in a safe manner.”
Anyone that sees a sea lion that appears to be in danger is encouraged to call (415) 289-SEAL.
“If these animals appear again, and we can get to them for a rescue, we’re definitely going to do it,” Oswald said.