San Francisco News

Debris removed from face, neck of rescued sea lion

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A sea lion captured by a rescue team at San Francisco's Pier 39 on Tuesday afternoon is resting comfortably after having plastic package wrap removed from his neck and face Wednesday morning, a Marine Mammal Center spokesman said.

A team from the center responded to Pier 39's "K-Dock," where sea lions congregate on floating wooden platforms, at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Marine Mammal Center spokesman Jim Oswald said.

They sedated the entangled sea lion with a dart and, once the sedative kicked in, brought it to shore, put it in a rescue carrier and took it to the center in the Marin Headlands, Oswald said.

A veterinarian determined that the entanglement was not life-threatening, and allowed the sea lion to calm down from the stress of the capture before cutting the wrap off at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oswald said.

"Plastic package wrap can be lethal because it doesn't dissolve or come apart," Oswald said.

If the entanglement had been more severe, the rescue crew could have opted to take it off at Pier 39, he said.

The veterinarian also took some blood from the sea lion for testing to make sure everything else is OK, Oswald said.

The results of the test are expected by Thursday, Oswald said. If everything checks out, the sea lion can be released back into the ocean as early as Friday, he said.

A second entangled sea lion was also spotted at Pier 39's "K-Dock" Tuesday afternoon, but was scared by a tour boat and disappeared into the water, Oswald said.

That sea lion has not been spotted since, he said.

Anyone who spots an injured or entangled marine mammal can call the center at (415) 289-7325.

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animal, animals in peril, rescue, marine mammal center, san francisco news
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