British Columbia·Video

California sea lion cut free from net in B.C. waters

A team from the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre went to the east coast of Vancouver Island to help a male California sea lion found with a braided net tangled around its chest, abdomen and flipper.

Animal rescued in the wild Thursday was part of aquarium team's new 'disentanglement project'

Sea lion freed from braided net RAW

8 years ago
Duration 4:02
Vancouver Aquarium team saves sea lion near Vancouver Island

The Vancouver Aquarium has rescued a sea lion that got itself caught in garbage off the east coast of Vancouver Island.

The facility's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre was dispatched to the east coast of Vancouver Island to help a male California sea lion that had a braided net tangled around its chest, abdomen and flipper.

This is our garbage that’s causing the problem.- Jill Dwyer, manager of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The rescue took place during the third trip in a new pilot "disentanglement project" launched last year.

However, the team was not been able to locate another sea lion, now called Kiyo, that was recently repeatedly spotted in Fanny Bay with wire wrapped around its neck.

Dr. Martin Haulena, head veterinarian with the aquarium, said he hopes to locate and free Kiyo during one of the team's future trips.

Jill Dwyer, manager of the Vancouver Aquarium's Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, says the plight of the Fanny Bay sea lions is a reminder to all of us to be more careful with our garbage.

"When you pull that broken wire off your equipment, or slide the plastic packing strap off a delivery box, you might think nothing of tossing it aside, but those actions have consequences," she said in a written statement. 

“Entanglement is something we see across the country, involving all kinds of wild animals. This is our garbage that’s causing the problem,” she said.

The aquarium's rescue team estimates 400 sea lions in B.C. waters are currently ensnared in some form of garbage or marine debris.

Map: Fanny Bay, B.C.