HUNTINGTON BEACH ( — Orange County police overnight tried to save a sea lion choked by a fishing line but the animal eventually died from its injuries.

Huntington Beach authorities were called at 10:30 p.m. Friday to Tower 2 after beach visitors spotted the sea lion in distress.

“His neck was deeply cut by a snagged fishing line and he was struggling to breath,” according to a statement from the Huntington Beach Police Department. “Four officers spent a half hour trying to help the sea lion, that they affectionately named Sparky.”

“Every time they approached Sparky, he retreated back to the water, but due to his declining condition, he would quickly come back up on the sand and
collapse…Sparky didn’t appear to trust our officers,” the statement said.

Officers used a flashlight to temporarily blind the sea lion so they could hold him down and snip the fishing line with a seatbelt cutter.

Sparky waded back into the surf but stayed near the shore.

He was captured by lifeguards and rescue center workers at 11 a.m.

He died two hours later.

Volunteers with the Pacific Marine Mammal Life in Laguna Beach say the animal died from deep cuts to its breathing tube.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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