A starving sea lion’s battle to live has ended as rescuers were forced to put the severely injured shark victim to death after it was found in the waters of Dana Point Harbor in Orange County.

The male sea lion was about 100 pounds underweight, apparently because it had become entangled in some fishing line, according to authorities.

Rescuers with The Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescued the sea lion when it was found suffering from a severe injury to his hind quarters, probably inflicted by a shark.

The fishing line may have made it more difficult for the animal to get away from predators, including the attacking shark.

The sea lion had been in and around the Dana Point Harbor since last week, officials said.

“It is with great sadness and sorrow that due to the severity of his injuries, the sea lion had to be humanely euthanized,” said the organization’s Executive Director Keith Matassa on Wednesday.

The sea lion was a 3- to 4-year-old male that was about 100 pounds underweight, according to Matassa.

The initial cause of the injury is still unclear but several reports from the public and rescue teams, as well as photos, show that a green fishing line may have been the initial cause, officials said.

PMMC believes that the entanglement inhibited his mobility such that he could not evade predators,” according to a statement from the organization. “There are indications that the sea lion was attacked by a shark which contributed to the grave injuries.”

—City News Service

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