Rescuers save sea lion pup from plastic ribbon wrapped around neck

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Sea World employees went on a rescue mission Saturday to free a sea lion pup from a plastic ribbon wrapped around his neck on Boomer's Beach in San Diego, according KGTV.

The timing is poetic, on World Oceans Day. A day that "provides a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve our world's shared ocean," according to WorldOceansDay.org.

Sea World Animal Care Specialist Brooke Hubbard said they had been monitoring the pup and received another call Saturday. This time it sounded like the 2-3-year-old sea lion was in an area where they could safely remove the ribbon.

A rescue that saved the mammal's life.

"When there is lining around its neck it can constrict its airways and its esophagus making it so they can't breathe or eat over time," Hubbard said.

Video from her supervisor's perspective shows what it was like when the team snuck up on the sea lion, threw their net and cut the ribbon off with a pair of ordinary scissors.

When they released the sea lion, he scooted back to the ocean.

"That's the best feeling in the world, especially since we didn't have to bring it back here and rehabilitate it," she said.

Hubbard said this is completely preventable.

"Please don't litter at the beach. Be able to pick up your trash wherever you go, this looks like packing or shipping ribbon that was stuck on the animal," she said.

She said when they go out on rescues she sees plastic every day near or harming the animals.

If you see an animal in trouble, call the Sea World Hotline, 1-800-541-SEAL, or let local authorities, like lifeguards know, and stay back.