Video shows hooked sea lion at La Jolla Cove

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LA JOLLA, Calif. – An injured sea lion has gained the sympathy of beachgoers at La Jolla Cove worried after it was seen with a large fish hook in its mouth.

Heartbreaking video of another sea lion at La Jolla Cove with a huge fish hook in its mouth is what brought the SeaWorld rescue team there Sunday morning, but they were unable to find it.

“We went all the way over by the goldfish clam area, but we were unable to find that,” SeaWorld Senior Animal Care Specialist Jennifer Zarate said.

Zarate said what they did find was another sea lion with a fish hook in its chest, but had to wait for it to move to an open space to help it.

“It’s almost like getting your ears pierced, it’s very superficial. It's something you can just take right out," Zarate said. "She’s also in really good body condition. We have a little bit of time we’d like to get ahold of her and remove it and release her right on sight but for right now she’s not in the best location.”

Zarate said the team could actually do more harm than good and they need to wait or the right opportunity to help both sea lions.

Both sea lions can still eat and function and do not appear to be in distress from looking at the video and pictures, she said.

Zarate said though the situations are unfortunate, it’s quite common calling sea lions opportunist when they see bait.

For some it’s still too disturbing.

“It’s super upsetting. I hate when I see on shows wild animals getting caught in nets and hooks. It’s just super irresponsible,” said Megan Brad, who was in La Jolla.

SeaWorld says the viewer who called them and sent video did the right thing and encourages others to call their hotline at 800-541-SEAL instead of trying to handle the situation on their own.

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