A member of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Team works during a rescue effort of a Steller sea lion in this undated handout photo. A Steller sea lion that had a thick piece of braided plastic cutting deeply into its neck has been saved by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Team

Sea lion with rope wrapped around neck saved by Vancouver Aquarium

Steller sea lions are a species of special concern and some populations are endangered in parts of Alaska

A Steller sea lion that had a thick piece of braided plastic cutting deeply into its neck has been saved by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.

The aquarium says the team that saved the female sea lion on Saturday also tried to help a younger animal entangled in a plastic packing strap but the animal was able to bite out a sedative-carrying dart and bolted into the ocean.

The rescued female was full grown and estimated to weight about 260 kilograms.

In Canada, the aquarium says Steller sea lions are a species of special concern and some populations are endangered in parts of Alaska.

They are the biggest of the sea lions.

The rescue was done with the help of vessels from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The aquarium says the nylon rope will now be analyzed to determine what kind of plastic it’s made from in the hope the public, industry and government will be encouraged to reduce the use.

Dr. Martin Haulena, the aquarium’s head veterinarian, said the rope was cutting “quite deeply” into the rescued seal lion and eventually she would have died.

“The problem of plastic pollution in our oceans is becoming a crisis, and it’s one that we all need to take more seriously in our daily lives,” Haulena said in a news release on Tuesday.

“From debris that causes entanglement of marine mammals like these, to smaller plastics that get ingested by fish and animals at the bottom of the food chain, our single-use plastic waste is having a huge impact.”

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

PHOTOS: A flavour of New Orleans at Nanaimo jazz fest parade

Nanaimo International Jazz Festival is taking place this weekend, Sept. 21-23

Athletes excel, earn gold at B.C. 55-Plus Games

57 athletes from the Nanaimo region medalled at the games, held in the Kootenays last week

United Way, with public’s support, willing to tackle challenging issues

Minister shares stories during Nanaimo event to launch United Way fundraising campaign

Healthy start fairs get families connected

Greater Nanaimo Early Years Partnership planning fair for Sept. 25 on Gabriola Island

Candidate hopes for focused and balanced city council

Darcy Olsen is running for Nanaimo city council

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Candidate lists finalized for Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN, school district

Nomination deadline passes in advance of Oct. 20 local government elections

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 20

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Porsche and Subaru dealerships can proceed with planning in north Nanaimo

City council unanimously allows rezoning application process to move forward

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

Most Read