What killed the sea lion found on Huntington Beach’s Bolsa Chica State Beach? That’s the mystery for those who discovered the dead sea lion with a missing head and partially eaten flipper. While HB lifeguards say sea lion deaths are typical for this time of year, it’s still a shock for children and adults to see sea lions on the beach, alive or dead. The juvenile (as opposed to adult) California sea lion was discovered by a beach-goer who found the sea lion while walking near Tower 22 at the beach on Mar. 16, 2009. The100+ pounds animal had several large bites on its abdomen and appeared to be killed recently, as ther was no smell of decay and blood was still present in its wounds, according the the witness who also saw a pod of dolphins about 100 yards offshore.
“It is not to see sea lion carcasses washed ashore in the spring, according to Huntington Beach Marine Safety Chief Kyle Lindo said. Meanwhile, over at Seal Beach fishermen have recently caught a number of small sharks, though nothing large enough to kill a sea lion. Still, Huntington Beach and the entire Pacific does contain many sharks, some big, some small. While a relatively small number of humans have been killed by sharks in California, the sea lion attacks are much more prevalent and often go unnoticed. Who’s going to report their missing sea lion relative? Sharks reportedly prefer sea lions as a food to humans. Rich with fat, the sea lion offers a great source of nourishment for sharks. And when a woman was killed by a shark in Avila Beach a few years ago, she was swimming toward or with the sea lions, reportedly, and her black wetsuit may have looked to a shark like sea lion.
All in all, thousands of surfers and swimmers go to the beach to swim and surf in Huntington Beach and attacks are extremely rare.