03/07/2014 09:23 EST | Updated 03/07/2014 09:59 EST

Kiyo The Sea Lion Tangled In Wire Sparks Public Outcry


A helpless sea lion with wire tangled around its neck has sparked public outcry on Vancouver Island.

Kiyo, as locals have named the animal, was found in Fanny Bay, B.C. on Feb. 21. The slow process of bringing in an expert to save him has prompted the creation of a Facebook group to raise awareness about Kiyo and similar sea lion rescues.

Photos posted to the "Saving and Protecting Kiyo and Any Other Sealions in Distress" page show the poor animal unable to free himself from the wire.

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GRAPHIC: Kiyo the Sea Lion

Highly-trained teams are usually required to disentangle sea animals from debris. As it states on the Facebook page:

Please people let the professionals rescue Kiyo, the devastation would be too much if people with no experience tried to save him ... we love your kindess [sic] and support but it takes a team like Vancouver Aquarium to help Kiyo.

According to a Vancouver Aquarium blog post, disentangling a sea lion requires shooting it with tranquilizer darts to keep it from fighting, and then cutting off whatever debris is hurting the animal.

Lisa Spaven of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans told Global News that a team should be ready to go by next week.

We have been working to devise a plan,” she said. “This is a very precarious situation in that the animal is not in an ideal location for disentanglement. We are making sure that we’ve got all of our ducks in a row, so that we can have the most successful effort possible.”

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