A sea lion entangled in plastic was rescued off Race Rocks by a combined team of marine experts during the week of Sept. 16.
The team, consisting of Vancouver Aquarium marine mammal rescue staff, officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and a veterinarian from the SeaDoc Society were responding to reports of at least one Stellar sea lion and one California sea lion entangled in plastic.
Crews were able to spot a male Stellar sea lion weighing around 500 kilograms with a plastic packing band wrapped tightly around its neck. The band was digging two inches deep into the sea lion’s neck. Experts said that the depth and severity of the wound indicated that the plastic had been there for some time.
After several hours the team was able to sedate the sea lion and remove the plastic.
Vancouver Aquarium and Marine Mammal Rescue Centre staff say that they have had to conduct dozens of such rescue efforts since 2013, and to date have rescued over 20 entangled sea lions.