Both tourists and locals alike are feeling some disappointment after the news of San Francisco’s iconic Aquatic Park Cove has been closed to swimmers due to an increase in sea lion attacks recently.
Since December 10, the aggressive sea lions have been responsible for attacks on three different swimmers within the span of five days. The National Park Service (which is responsible for the cove) banned swimming in the cover starting on Friday as a result, posting a sign reading, “Danger. Aquatic Park Cove Closed for Swimming Due to Multiple Marine Animal Bites.”
The National Park Service hopes to reopen the cove starting Monday, though they hope to understand why these animals have suddenly begun attacking people. The South End Rowing Club, a group that frequents the cove for their activities, states that sea lion attacks are “rare” on their website when listing the dangers associated with rowing, a sentiment veterinarians working with the Marine Mammal Center agree with. This only leads to more confusion as to why the animals have become so aggressive, with some speculating it might even be a single, uncharacteristically mean sea lion rather than multiple.
By Monday, the National Park Service wants to have a safety plan in place to prevent even more people from being attacked by the marine life in the cove. No details of a prospective plan have been released to the public yet, though it will hopefully the best interests of both the humans and the animals in mind when implemented.