SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A rescue crew has captured one of two sea lions that were spotted entangled in debris at San Francisco’s Pier 39 Tuesday, a Marine Mammal Center spokesman said.

The Marine Mammal Center responded to Pier 39’s “K-Dock,” the area where sea lions congregate on floating wooden platforms, around 12:30 p.m., Marine Mammal Center spokesman Jim Oswald said.

Oswald said it appeared the animals have what looks like fishing line around their necks.

The rescue team successfully deployed a dart with a mild sedative into one of the two sea lions around 1:50 p.m. Tuesday, Oswald said.

Once the sedative kicked in, the rescue team slowly approached the sea lion, brought it to shore, put it in a rescue carrier and is driving it to the center where a veterinarian will take off the debris wrapped around its neck.

“It’s tricky to do,” Oswald said of the rescue. “We don’t take them lightly.”

If the entanglement were more severe, the rescue crew could have opted to take the wire off on site, he said.

As of 4:30 p.m., the sea lion was resting at the center, Oswald said. The entanglement is not considered life-threatening and a veterinarian will remove it Wednesday morning, he said.

The rescue of the second sea lion appears to have become more complicated; the sea lion was scared by a tour boat and has disappeared into the water, Oswald said.

He said crews will wait at the pier to see if it returns. If it does, they will repeat the process used to rescue the first sea lion.

Anyone who spots a marine mammal injured or entangled can call the center at (415) 289-7325.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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