Aggressive shark warning issued in Cardiff after sea lion attacked

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ENCINITAS, Calif. -- A shark sighting off the coast of Encinitas Thursday prompted authorities to post warning signs along a mile-long stretch of the ocean shoreline near San Elijo Lagoon.

A woman reported seeing a shark swimming and breaching offshore from Cardiff State Beach about 9:30 a.m., Encinitas lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles said.

Later in the morning, a badly injured sea lion believed to have been attacked by the shark showed up on shore in the same general area, Giles said.

SeaWorld San Diego staffers picked up the ocean mammal -- which was missing much of its tail and had a large laceration on its back -- and brought it to the aquatic park for medical care. It was not immediately clear if the animal survived.

Signs cautioning beachgoers about the possible presence of an "aggressive shark" in the area and advising people to enter the ocean at their own risk were posted along the shorelines of Cardiff and Seaside state beaches.

Despite the warning, there were still plenty of people on the beach and in the water.

"I am really surprised there are still surfers out there. A lot of them are in wetsuits and they look like seals," said Carlsbad resident Nancy Byrne.

Barring any further shark sightings, the warning will be rescinded after 24 hours, Encinitas city spokesman Paul Brencick said.

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