A group of loud sea lions are still hanging out in Cowichan Bay, but the one with the rope around its neck still hasn’t come back.
Veterinarians from the Vancouver Aquarium are in Cowichan Bay, but won’t be able to stay in the area beyond today because of other commitments and Head Vet at the Aquarium Martin Haulena said contrary to what some onlookers think, these guys are always on the move.
“The sea lion has not been seen, even the day before and that is often the case with these guys, they do move around a lot, they’re highly migratory,” said Haulena. “When they are in BC, they move a lot from hollow to hollow, it’s disappointing that he wasn’t here, but that’s part of the game for us.”
Some reports are indicating that a person or people tried to cut the rope off the mammal’s neck, resulting in it fleeing and Haulena said while it’s fantastic that these people want to help and care about these sea lions, it was a risky move.
“It is quite dangerous, potentially, to approach one of these guys, they can inflict quite a lot of damage,” said Haulena. “We, of course, anesthetize the animals when we are dealing with them in close proximity like this, particularly the wild guys. On the flip side of things, unfortunately, the more people that try and approach them and get them to leave, the more likely it is that they will stay away and that does interfere with our ability to help them.”
The sea lions who are hanging out in Cowichan Bay are California sea lions, who are loud, along with the stellar sea lions and Haulena said the two types of sea lions have apparently ‘worked out a deal’ and are ok with one another.