The rescue of a 435-pound sea lion in distress Friday proved to be challenging for animal rescue experts.
At 11:30 a.m., SeaWorld’s Rescue Team executed the difficult rescue of a large male sea lion that appeared to be in distress on the beach at Naval Air Station, North Island.
According to SeaWorld officials, their rescue team and base officials had been monitoring the sea lion for the past 10 days.
The animal had been spotted multiple times on the beach looking lethargic and in distress. Over the days, the sea lion appeared to get thinner and even more lethargic.
Experts had attempted to rescue the animal several times to no avail. In one instance, SeaWorld’s team even witnessed the sea lion have a seizure.
On Friday, rescuers were able to tranquilize the animal and safely move him into a transport unit. The sea lion was taken to SeaWorld’s animal care complex for treatment.
SeaWorld officials said veterinarians are currently stabilizing the sea lion and assessing his condition. They believe he’s at least 25 percent underweight and extremely dehydrated.
In the coming days, vets will administer tests to determine what caused his seizure. Fluids and any necessary medicine will also be given to the sea lion.
SeaWorld said it is unknown at this point how long the animal will be in their care.
In 2012 alone, the SeaWorld Rescue Program has cared for more than 400 animals, including sea lion, sea birds and turtles.