DANA POINT Multiple agencies are on the lookout for an injured California sea lion that has been spotted at various spots in the Dana Point Harbor over the last few days.
On Tuesday, Sept.5, staff from Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach were out with Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol deputies looking for the marine mammal, which was first spotted Aug. 31 with a severe injury to its hindquarters near its flipper. They hoped to catch the animal so it could be examined more closely at the marine mammal center, said Krysta Higuchi with PMMC.
On Tuesday, the sea lion was spotted midway on the harbor jetty sitting on rocks. Efforts to catch it were unsuccessful, but plans to remotely dart it have been approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The marine mammal center is working with Harbor Patrol, the Coastal Animal Services Authority that oversees animal services in Dana Point and San Clemente, and NOAA to rescue it. Trained rescue teams are ready to respond to reports of sightings. Once the sea lion is rescued, Dr. Kelli Barnett, PMMC’s veterinarian, will determine what can be done depending on the extent of its injuries.
Sightings of the sea lion over the weekend drew concern from local residents, including Dana Point Mayor Debra Lewis who, through social media, asked the public to be on the lookout for the sea lion.
City Manager Mark Denny spotted the sea lion Sunday, Sept. 3 during an early morning paddle around the harbor.
“He was sitting near the breakwater and the center of the island,” Denny said. “He stood out because he reminded me of one of my dogs.You could see this white tissue, it was almost like he had a line around it.”
On Monday, Sept. 4, Sarah Wehr spotted the sea lion at Baby Beach. She described…