Struggle to keep sea lions where they belong - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Struggle to keep sea lions where they belong

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Sea lions are an ongoing problem at La Jolla Cove. 

They wander up from the sand and end up on the sidewalks or in local parks. 

The City of San Diego is now taking steps to keep the animals where they belong. 

Videos of sea lions ending up far from the ocean are popping up online. 

One video from last year shows a sea lion wandering into The Cave Store

To get to the store the sea lion climbed all the steps at the cove and walked down the street. 

It eventually left, but not before making a big mess. 

The city is considering plans to help keep sea lions on the beach. 

"I know people who have been bit," said Matt Deyl of Aquaholix who is at the cove every day. "They're wild animals. Just like a rattlesnake or something."  

Deyl questions whether the city's plan to install a gate is the best solution. 

The city recently withdrew plans for the gate after learning it needed approval from the coastal commission. 

That's because the gate is technically new construction along the beach and the city decided it didn't want to endure the process.. 

"There's a lot of them, but they're protected so there's not much any of us can do," said Deyl. 

Instead the city is going back to the drawing board, but the sea lion population continues to grow. 

Another memorable video shows a pup wandering into the Marine Room.   

The sickly sea lion went to sleep in a booth. 

It was rescued by SeaWorld, nourished and sent back to the sea

Still not every encounter is as innocent as that. 

A video went viral after a sea lion grabbed a girl in San Francisco.  

First-responders say her family was feeding it moments before. 

Although it happened hundreds of miles north, many tourists locally come to see our sea lions. 

Occasionally, they get too close and even those far away can still smell the sea lions. 

Deyl hopes the city can find a solution that helps everyone - including the sea lions. 

"They're cool creatures and I'm not saying get rid of them, but there's an odor everyone smells when you come down here that wasn't there before," Deyl said.

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