Sea kayaker and conservationist, Naude Dreyer, is no stranger to dealing with wild, uncooperative seals and sea lions. Through the work of the Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN) non-profit organization, he and his team have rescued hundreds—if not thousands—of seals from human-caused ocean debris.

After viewing so many successful seal and sea lion rescues, one could assume that the art of capturing these semiaquatic creatures (in order to free them from their respective ailments) would be second nature to Dreyer. But even with a skill set as close to “expert” as it gets (on dry land), when you add in a kayak and ocean current, well, that’s a whole other beast.

“It’s seldom that we can actually get close enough to the entangled animals in the water to grab them,” said Dreyer. He explained that this was actually the 5th attempt to save this one sea lion. The sea lion “gave up a good fight,” Dryer explained, but in the end, the intervention was a success.

Watch the full video of the rescue below.

[Editor’s note: Alert reader Brian Mallory helpfully informs us that the entangled animal is in fact a California sea lion, not a harbor seal. Article updated April 16, 2021.]

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1 COMMENT

  1. With all due respect to Brian Mallory, it appears this is a Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus). It is a type of “eared seal”, like a sea lion, but this is in Namibia. https://www.pelican-point-kayaking.com/ From what I gather doing this kind of work with a California Sea Lion is done with anasthetics, which makes it much more challenging (and dangerous).

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