Sea Lion Attacks Two Elderly Swimmers

Sea lions sure have gotten uppity this year. First they ate so many migrating salmon at dams in western states that Oregon and Washington petitioned the federal government to allow them to kill up to 80 this year. Now sea lions have turned on the elderly.

A couple in their 60's was swimming off Venice Beach, California last week when a sea lion attacked them without provocation. The large ocean rat (Yes, I believe that's technically correct) bit the woman on her leg. Her husband charged through the water to her aid only to have the seal rip into his hands, feet, and head. Lifeguard Captain Jeff Horn, who inspected the couple before calling emergency workers, said the lacerations looked "similar to what a dog bite would look like."

Hospital physicians agreed and treated the couple with antibiotics before releasing them.

California wildlife officials, whose job it is to study sea lions with a taste for elderly swimmers, believe the sea lion might have been poisoned by domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by certain types of marine algae blooming. Sea lions exposed to domoic acid often suffer seizures and tremors. Yeah, but does it cause them to attack swimmers?