Marine Mammal Center Rescues SF Sea Lion

San Francisco tourists have a animal tale to tell following their visit to Pier 39 Tuesday.

Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012  |  Updated 5:45 PM PDT
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Marine Mammal Center Rescues SF Sea Lion

Marine Mammal Center

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A rescue crew has captured one of two sea lions that were spotted  entangled in debris at San Francisco's Pier 39, a Marine Mammal Center  spokesman said.

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

Oswald said it appeared the animals have what looks like fishing  line around their necks.

The rescue team successfully deployed a dart with a mild sedative  into one of the two sea lions at about 1:50 p.m., Oswald said.

Once the sedative kicked in, the rescue team slowly approached the  sea lion, brought it to shore, put it in a rescue carrier and is driving it  to the center where a veterinarian will take off the debris wrapped around  its neck.

"It's tricky to do," Oswald said of the rescue. "We don't take  them lightly."

If the entanglement were more severe, the rescue crew could have  opted to take the wire off on site, he said.

The rescue of the second sea lion appears to have become more  complicated; the sea lion was scared by a tour boat and has disappeared into  the water, Oswald said.

He said crews will wait at the pier to see if it returns. If it  does, they will repeat the process used to rescue the first sea lion.

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