San Francisco Aquatic Park shut over 'aggressive' sea lions

San Francisco Aquatic Park shut over 'aggressive' sea lions

A swimmer was rescued Thursday after being bitten by a sea lion in San Francisco.

Whether these attacks are the work of one sea lion or multiple is yet to be determined, but it certainly casts a dark shadow on the fat, sleepy tourist attractions at Pier 39.

Additional details on that attack have not yet been released.

The 56-year-old man says he was swimming alone out of the Aquatic Cove and not wearing a wetsuit.

Einfeldt, an experienced swimmer, tells KTVU he feared for his life when he was bit by the sea lion. The swimmer was taken to a hospital "with a serious extremity injury", the San Francisco Fire Department said in a tweet.

A sailboat happened to be nearby and saw the swimmer in distress, so he pulled Einfeldt onto his boat and immediately called police.

The victim was treated on the Hyde Street Pier near Aquatic Park off Jefferson Street.

Reiter applied a tourniquet in an attempt to stop heavy bleeding, the Times reported.

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"The boat saved his life", Reiter said. He was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where he is listed in good condition. He has a nickel sized hole of exposed muscle on his arm.

"He was more anxious about his clothes on the beach than he was about anything else", he said.

At this time, they don't have enough information to determine if the same animal bit the two people or if it was two different sea lions.

The swimmers speculate that mating season could be one reason why the sea lions are seemingly more aggressive than normal. He and many other devout swimmers were not deterred by the attack.

Dr. Claire Simeone, Conservation Medicine Veterinarian for the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, said that sometimes sea lions attack if they are "sick or injured".

With this in mind, the club has encouraged members to swim in pairs, stick to shallow areas where they can stand, "and exit the water in the event an encounter occurs", said Hechanova. She conducted a study on seal and sea lion attacks that was published in 2015.

"As these animals are wild, their behavior can be erratic", Simeon said.

Because Aquatic Park is both the animal's domain and a water park for humans, sea lion-human encounters are inevitable, he added. Christian Einfeldt says he's in nearly no pain and the injury could have been much worse.

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