Sea lion attacks second victim in less than 24 hours

Sea lion attacks second victim in less than 24 hours

Sea lion attacks second victim in less than 24 hours

A second man was bitten by a sea lion at the San Francisco Aquatic Park in less than 24 hours.

The man had been swimming Thursday afternoon when a sea lion came at him and he felt threatened, he told police. When he started yelling at the sea lion, it attacked - biting his arm. He had a good sense of humor about the risky situation.

Aquatic Park Historic District is the site where two swimmers were bitten by sea lions.

Einfeldt said that he tried toward off the animal by shouting "No!" but that the sea lion continued to approach.

Christian Einfeldt tells San Francisco television station KGO that when he turned around to swim back Thursday, the massive sea lion was right there.

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"I'm lucky to be alive", Einfeldt told KTVU.

A swimmer bitten by a sea lion in San Francisco says he believes the animal trailed him as he swam from the beach to the mouth of a cove where he was attacked. Knowing he could not swim back, Einfeldt said he flagged down a sailboat.

'I was relatively calm because I wasn't dead, ' he said. Fortunately, a sailboat then came into view. The swimmer began splashing water at the animal to get it away, Police Officer Matthew Reiter said during a news conference on the incident. The boat's captain picked up the injured swimmer, radioed for help and then made a beeline for shore. He was bleeding very badly and police applied a tourniquet and pressure before he was transported to the hospital by paramedics. He was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where he is listed in good condition.

Dr. Claire Simeone, a veterinarian with The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, told The Bee that attacks by sea lions are "infrequent". She conducted a study on seal and sea lion attacks that was published in 2015.

Simeone said she suspects the attacker was the same animal in each instance, but there is nearly no way of determining that or figuring out why it has chosen to go on the offensive.

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'They may be showing a behavior or protecting an area, and sometimes the behavior seems more random, ' she said. "They're unable to find enough food to make them happy and you know a hungry animal is certainly not a happy animal".

The latest attack occurred as Mulvihill was swimming near the curved part of the breakwater pier, known to swimmers as "the Jacuzzi".

Because Aquatic Park is both the animal's domain and a water park for humans, sea lion-human encounters are inevitable, he added.

Experts say the perpetrator could have also been a harbor seal, given that the two species are hard to tell apart in the water.

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