Two swimmers were attacked in the San Francisco Bay area on Thursday December 14th and Friday December 15th. The two attacks are considered to be highly unusual and extremely rare. Sea lions are animals that are not known to attack swimmers.
The sea lion attacks led park authorities at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park to shut down a popular swimming spot in the San Francisco area. Park authorities say they will be investigating the reason why a sea lion decided to attack swimmers. One theory is that the sea lion was territorial and trying to keep the swimmers away from his territory. This rarely if ever happens though. Another theory is that the sea lion who attacked the swimmers is sick and injured. It may have felt threatened by the swimmers and bit them.
The site of the attacks is an area that sea lions frequently pass through as they head towards a favorite gathering spot. It is also a favorite venue for swimming and rowing clubs. Park authorities are now warning swimmers and rowers to be on guard. The bay may be right near the city, but it is actually a wilderness area. As soon as you are out in the water, you should imagine yourself being in a place where wild animals and fish may roam about.
Both of the attacks left swimmers needing medical treatment. One man was bit in the groin and taken to a hospital. Another man was bit on the arm and had to have two surgeries.