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Entangled Sea Lion at Pier 39

March 12, 2012

Dart Man is Released
Dart Man is released at Rodeo Beach, after being treated for an entanglement.

Dart Man went home! Veterinarians gave him a full-checkup over the weekend, and with no further medical complications and his good body weight and strength, determined that he could go back to the ocean right away! He was released at Rodeo Beach, just down the hill from the hospital, on March 11.

Dart man, sea lion, marine mammal center, pier 39
The team works to cut the thick packing strap off of Dart Man the sea lion.
© The Marine Mammal Center

March 9, 2012

Today, a team from The Marine Mammal Center and PIER 39 were able to successfully rescue a 437 lb adult male California sea lion with a deeply embedded packing strap wrapped tightly around his neck from one of the floating docks at PIER 39. This sea lion has been spotted for a number of weeks, but has eluded rescuers. It was apparent that the sea lion had this entanglement for a while as the skin was starting to bulge over the stiff and unyielding plastic.

Dart man, marine Mammal Center, pier 39, sea lion
With the sedative taking effective, Dr. Bill Van Bonn and team slowly approach the sea lion just before netting him.
© The Marine Mammal Center

The veterinary rescue team, headed up by Dr. Bill Van Bonn, director of veterinary science at the Center, was able to safely use a specialized gun to shoot a dart loaded with a mild sedative to slow the animal down. The animal was netted, the entanglement was safely cut away, and he then was transported via a stretcher to one of PIER 39s boats and then on to land and into our awaiting rescue truck.

This big guy was named Dart Man and appears to be well at the hospital. Rescue personnel report that he is pretty feisty - a good sign that his health may be good and that he is strong. Veterinarians will examine him to see if he has any other health issues that need to be addressed, and if all is well, he could be released back to the ocean - entangle-free - soon!


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