Aggressive sea lions in Sand Point, Alaska have once again targeted local fisherman by leaping out of the sea to inflict painful bites.
First off, that's one way to intimidate the competition. Secondly, they don't call 'em sea “lions” for nothing. Thirdly... well, we'll let the Sand Point Department of Public Safety state that “This is the third bite in the past year and a half,” while warning fishermen to “Please be cautious of your surroundings when on the docks or vessel.”
The latest incident occurred on an otherwise ordinary Sunday afternoon when, according to Sand Point police officer David Anderson, a “sea lion came out of the water on the back of the fishing boat Celtic and bit a male fisherman on the right thigh.” His wounds “looked like a bear bite,” as described by a doctor at an Anchorage clinic where the victim was treated.
Attacks on humans by sea lions in Sand Point (above), located about 600 miles from Anchorage on treeless Popof Island, were previously documented in the fall of 2018 and in January of 2017. Steller Sea Lions are considered to be a Near Threatened species and enjoy protection under the Endangered Species Act.
“It’s scary,” stated Kathy Adams, the manager of a Sand Point bed-and-breakfast whose husband is a commercial salmon fisherman. Adams told a reporter from the Anchorage Daily News that she should tell her husband to take a gun with him when he fishes from their unprotected skiff. Aggression by sea lions against humans (and vice-versa) has been well-documented through history, as both species compete to harvest fish from cold Northern Pacific waters. (images via Max Pixel and J. Stephen Conn)