Man Vs Sea Lion

As human populations have grown and territories expanded, we’re often brought into uncomfortable proximity to wildlife. In the past, humans would use their superior ingenuity just to kill off the offending animals. But since that tactic brought certain species, like the noble sea lion, to the brink of extinction, we’ve had to get more creative.

Sea Lion

Sleeping Sea Lions|CC Frank Towery flickr

When the citizens of Astoria Oregon put up docks to aid their local fishing and boating economy, little did they know that the structures would become the battleground for their not-so-famous war against the sea lions.

Past Battles

Astoria’s position on the water makes it a perfect fishing town. The docks are meant to be an accessible place for boats to sit in between fishing trips. But given how low they are to the water, it’s easy to see how the sea lions would adopt them as a place to rest.

The animals steal fish from the fishermen, bark incessantly, block off the docks, and, of course, poop everywhere.

The sea lions aren’t exactly good for business.

Because the sea lions are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Astorians have had to get creative.

They’ve tried throwing beach balls at the animals, and they’ve tried placing electrified mats, but to no avail.

A previous battle strategy saw the creation of a motorized Orca whale made of fiberglass. Sadly, that was a failure too, leaving the sea lions laughing at the feeble attempt.

The Latest Maneuver

For their new offensive maneuver, the people of Astoria have turned to an unlikely source: used car dealerships. It may not be the first place you’d go for military advice, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

To be more specific, they’re placing the inflatable air dancers typically used to draw customers into a car dealership around the docks in an attempt to scare the sea lions away.

Admittedly, the air dancers are meant as a stopgap measure. The real, long-lasting success will be in placing guardrails around the docks which should deter the sea lions from returning once the dancers are removed.

Only time will tell if this new offensive will work. But for now, it appears that the Astorians have dealt a mighty blow to the sea lions. Somewhere in a smokey room in the sea-side town, you just know there’s a general looking a map of the docks and saying “Your move, Sea Lion; your move.”