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Aquatic Park to remain closed to swimmers through Wednesday after sea lion attacks

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Aquatic Park in San Francisco. (Jessica Christian/2016 S.F. Examiner)

Aquatic Park Cove will remain closed to swimmers until Thursday after a second man was attacked by a sea lion in as many days in San Francisco Bay waters near the cove last week, park service officials said Monday.

“Because several swimmers have received marine mammal bites in the past week, some serious, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s Aquatic Park Cove will remain closed to swimming through Wednesday,” San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park officials said in a statement.

On Friday morning, a man was bitten by a sea lion and suffered injuries not considered life-threatening but he was taken to a trauma center.

On Thursday at 1:48 p.m. a San Francisco police boat pulled a swimmer from the water who had been bitten by what’s thought to be a sea lion on the upper arm.

The man was taken to a hospital with a serious injury but was expected to survive, fire officials said.

Park rangers monitoring Aquatic Park Cove last week observed what appeared to be three young male sea lions swimming west from Hyde Street Harbor across the Aquatic Park Cove entrance, and toward the bend of Aquatic Park Pier, where they began moving along the Pier’s wave baffles and pilings. They may have been feeding on the herring currently spawning in San Francisco Bay.

Dr. Claire Simeone, Conservation Medicine Veterinarian at the Marine Mammal Center, said the animals can display erratic behavior, and it’s important for the public both on land and in the water to “enjoy sea lions from a safe distance,” the park officials’ statement reads.

People may call the the Marine Mammal Center’s 24-hour rescue hotline at 415-289-SEAL if a problem is suspected.

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