SAN FRANCISCO, July 29 (UPI) — Rescuers have made four unsuccessful tries at capturing two young sea lions spotted off a San Francisco pier with wires around their necks.
Jim Oswald, a spokesman for the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., said there has been a change in tactics, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday. The four attempts were made by boat, and the sea lions were scared into swimming off.
The rescue team now hopes to capture the sea lions while they are on a beach.
“Right now it’s a waiting game to see whether these two go someplace where it’s easier to catch them,” Oswald said.
One of the sea lions is almost full-grown while the other is very young. Scientists have not been able to determine if the wire has injured them yet.
Entanglement in wire, fishing nets and other man-made objects has become a hazard for marine mammals, turtles and birds. The animals can develop cuts and infections and can even be suffocated or strangled.