WATSONVILLE, Calif. - A couple visiting the Pajaro Dunes from Hawaii recently helped rescue a young sea lion struggling with fishing line caught around its neck.
According to the Marine Mammal Center, the couple called the organization's 24-hour hotline after spotting the entangled animal. They also flagged down Bill Wolcott, a supervising ranger with California State Parks.
Wolcott told Marine Mammal Center volunteers that the fishing line was wrapped tightly around the animal's neck, cutting into its skin.
Volunteers from the Marine Mammal Center arrived and found the animal in poor condition - malnourished, underweight and in poor health.
The marine mammal, which staff named Pua after the Hawaiian word for flower, was transported to the Marine Mammal Center's hospital in Sausalito. By the time they arrived, the fishing line had come off but Pua remained in bad health. A veterinarian treated the animal with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory pain medicine for pneumonia and the neck wound.
Two weeks later, Pua is recovering well in Sausalito and is gaining weight. Staff hope to release the creature back to her ocean home in the near future.