Injured, lethargic sea lion near San Francisco's Aquatic Park sparks concern

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- An injured sea lion that spent much of Wednesday on the beach and beneath docks near San Francisco's Hyde Street Pier appears to have moved on.

Where it's moved on to is anyone's guess, but it likely hasn't gone far. "That he appears to be moving is a good sign," said Dr. Cara Field, a veterinarian with the Marine Mammal Center. Dr. Field and a rescue crew arrived at the pier at approximately 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, but never saw the animal.

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Earlier today, passers-by saw the sea lion alternating between Beach and Bay streets. It has suffered what appears to be a shark bite on the right-side hip area.

"It is probably a young male," said Dr. Field. "The females are still in the rookery."

Without seeing the sea lion, she said it will be difficult to offer a prognosis, but told ABC7News that such injuries are common this time of year. "It's nature," she said.

This time the drama has played out in a public place. "Our first concern is human safety," said Dr. Field. She added that if a shark did attack the sea lion, "It was probably out at sea."

Nevertheless, be careful when swimming in San Francisco Bay.

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