Distressed sea lion spotted on Carlsbad beach

Posted at 7:58 AM, Jan 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-18 10:59:43-05

A sea lion that appeared to be injured was stranded on a Carlsbad beach Monday morning, but was able to swim away when approached by a couple who discovered it.

The couple said they were collecting seashells for their artwork when they spotted the sea lion on some rocks. The man and woman told 10News they were aware they were not supposed to approach it, but they could not help but notice that the sea lion appeared to have a broken flipper and something possibly wrong with its eye.

"I jumped. I got scared because there was, all of a sudden, this animal on the beach. It was different because it didn't move. Usually, they make a noise or do something, but it didn't do anything, so we kind of just knew right away it was in distress," the woman said.

The couple contacted SeaWorld and the Humane Society, but the man said he could not wait any longer for crews to arrive. As he approached the sea lion with a blanket and net, the sea lion maneuvered its way into the water and swam away.