SP’s Captain Hook heads back to sea

first_img“Captain Hook” set sail Monday for San Clemente Island, where officials hope the sea lion who had 70 hooks and lines stuck in him when rescued will find a food source not already claimed by fishermen. The marine mammal was taken by pickup truck from Laguna Beach’s Pacific Marine Mammal Center about 6:45 a.m. to the Coast Guard station in San Pedro. From there, the 700-pound animal was loaded onto a 175-foot vessel for the voyage to the island 56miles off the coast of San Diego County, said Melissa Sciacca, director of development for the center. “There’s a rookery out there with lots of female sea lions eating herring and the kinds of fish that are out there,” she said. Finding a sea lion with so many hooks around his mouth and on his body is unusual, Sciacca said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“It’s not something that typical,” she said. “This sea lion is known to have hung out around fishing areas. He’s an older 12-year-old that could have been eating in areas where fishermen have lines or eating fish with hooks in them used as bait.” Captain Hook was so named in October when he was rescued and 70 fishing hooks were removed by a veterinarian, Sciacca said. He was taken to San Onofre for release in November, but in less than a week he was back and spotted around the Balboa Pier, said Dean Gomersall, animal care supervisor for the mammal center. He disappeared for a time but resurfaced in the Back Bay near Newport Dunes. When captured again on Nov. 19, he was dotted with more hooks, Gomersall said. Captain Hook gained more than 200 pounds during his latest bout at rehab and now weighs more than 700 pounds, requiring a large boat for successful release, said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Allyson Conroy. Because “he is a repeat offender,” he’s going farther out to sea – to San Clemente Island, Gomersall said. Sea lions have a wide range – with some sea lions known to have been rescued in San Francisco and released showing up off the coast of Orange County – so it is hard to know where Captain Hook came from, she said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more