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Justin Viezbicke, NOAA West Coast Stranding Coordinator, attempting disentanglement. Photo: Courtesy of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center

By Kristina Pritchett

A sea lion was disentangled from a thick rope on Tuesday morning in the Dana Point Harbor, according to Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) officials.

The PMMC and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) worked together to free the animal from a rope that was embedded around the its torso.

According to officials, members of the NOAA West Coast and the PMMC rescue team were in the Harbor early Tuesday morning with hopes of freeing the animal. They said they were able to locate the animal quickly and get into position with a rescue boat on stand-by.

NOAA West Coast Stranding Coordinator Justin Viezbicke used a knife to cut the rope and disentangle the animal.

The sea lion is believed to be a juvenile female and was spotted about five weeks ago.

Officials said there were multiple attempts made to disentangle the animals with the assistance of Dana Point Harbor Patrol, SeaWorld Rescue and NOAA.

PMMC officials said they received calls daily from citizens about the animal.

Krysta Higuchi, the events and public relations coordinator for PMMC, said they see a lot of malnourished pups beaching themselves this time of year.


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