March 5, 2014 11:37 pm

Sea lion entangled in fishing line waits to be rescued in Fanny Bay

A sea lion trapped in what appears to be fishing line is still waiting to be rescued two weeks after getting trapped near Fanny Bay on Vancouver Island.

The sea lion, who has been named Kiyo by the local residents who are trying to help him, has its neck wrapped up twice by the line that is now growing into his skin.

Wildlife photographer Netonia Chatelaine says this is the third incident since October.

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In previous two cases, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans took quick action, bringing in a team to free the animals.

But after nearly two weeks of suffering, Kiyo is still waiting.

Chatelaine says he does not respond to other sea lions and has not been very active.

“Kiyo just basically lays there, I have only seen him bark once in the last few weeks,” she says.

“As I keep taking photos, I can see [the line] is growing into his skin now, and it is pretty heart-wrenching to see. [He] is screaming for help, and we are his only voice.”

Chatelaine has now set up a Facebook page to drum up awareness about Kiyo’s plight.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans could not provide any updates to Global News on whether there is any plan to rescue Kiyo, because their Marine Mammal Coordinator was not within reach.

The department would only say, “each scenario is different, and has to be evaluated to see if disentanglement is possible. It is a dangerous process for those involved and can be very dangerous for the animal.”

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