Oct 28

SeaWorld Rescue Team Saves the Life of a Sea Lion Impaled by Gaff Pole

On Sunday, Oct. 26, the SeaWorld San Diego Rescue Team came to the aid of a 200-pound California sea lion that was impaled by a 10-foot gaff pole at La Jolla Cove.

The hook on the gaff pole was embedded three inches into the animal’s back. The wound could have ultimately been life threatening.

Our Rescue Team was able to safely secure the animal on the rocks with a series of nets. Senior veterinarian, Dr. Todd Schmitt, then injected the sea lion with a sedative. Once the animal had calmed, the Rescue Team shortened the gaff hook which allowed them to remove it from his back.

The sea lion was then brought to our park’s Animal Rescue Center for care and rehabilitation. Other than the wound, he appears to generally be in good health. The Rescue Team continues to monitor the sea lion, but anticipates being able to return him to the ocean within a week.

Watch the video below to see how the rescue unfolded. Please be advised that there are some scenes that may be too graphic for some viewers.