Editor’s note: The following comes from the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA. The sea lions were entangled in monofilament fishing line. This can be prevented by proper disposal of fishing line.
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February 28, 2013
The Marine Mammal Center sent a team of highly trained staff and volunteers, known as the Special Rescue Operations team, to Monterey on February 23, 2013 to look for several California sea lions that were reportedly entangled. The team was able to capture two sea lions, a young male named “Ear Muffs”, and a 350 lb male named “SRO” – named in honor of the Special Rescue Operations team. Both sea lions had fishing line wrapped around their head and necks.
The first sea lion to be rescued, SRO, was found resting on a wooden crossbeam under a dock attached to the Monterey Jetty – not at all an easy place to try and rescue an active animal as you can see from the video above!
Using a boat to get close, the team quietly put a submarine net in place in the water and then two members of the team went into the water to flush SRO towards the net. It worked! They caught the 350 lb entangled sea lion and transported him to the Center’s hospital in Sausalito so that veterinarians could anesthetize him and remove the entanglement.
The next day, Center veterinarians anesthetized SRO and were able to cut the single loop of monofilament fishing line off of his upper neck and clean his wounds. A blood sample was taken to check if SRO had any other medical problems.
Luckily he did not, so he was released at Rodeo beach, right down the road from our hospital, the next day.