NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) — An Orange County city is turning to an unlikely – and inanimate – ally to help ward off sea lions.

Plastic coyotes have been mounted along the harbor in Newport Beach by officials in an effort to stem what they say is a growing problem of sea lions causing damage by climbing onto boats and decks.

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The fake animals are realistically detailed, sport bared, growling fangs and are poised as if ready to pounce on their prey.

Officials have reportedly spent roughly $200 on the statues and placed them at strategic points along the docks at Newport Harbor.

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The effort carries with it a twinge of irony: Newport along with several neighboring O.C. cities have been dealing with ongoing coyote activity in the area and have even gone so far as to allow residents in Huntington Beach to trap or kill the animals.