Watch: Crews rescue sea lion with head stuck in metal loop

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SAN DIEGO (KSWB) – A sea lion found itself in a precarious situation off the San Diego coast Friday, but a rescue team from SeaWorld was able to free the critter’s head from a metal loop on a buoy.

The sea lion was first spotted by boaters Friday morning with its head wedged in a welded metal loop on the buoy. The SeaWorld Rescue Team and Harbor Police Department headed out to see if they could help the animal, which appeared panicked and disoriented at times, at one point sliding off the buoy so it was hanging on to the structure by only its neck.

Two of the SeaWorld rescuers and an officer scrambled on to the buoy to help the sea lion, spreading enough soap and ointment across the critter’s head and torso that it eventually slid out and into the water. In all, it took rescuers only about two minutes to get the sea lion safely into the ocean, SeaWorld said in a statement.

Rescuers also took the opportunity to tag the animal with a National Marine Fisheries identifier to help track the sea lion in case of any future incidents.

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