The Port of Astoria, Oregon, has hundreds of sea lions who love the docks so much that boat owners cannot use their slips there. It’s becoming quite a problem, and the community doesn’t know what to do about the pesky yet adorable sea lions.
According to the Associated Press, the Port of Astoria has tried electrified mats to deter the creatures, but the sea lions don’t seem to care much about them. Fences were considered to keep the sea lions off the docks, but that thought was tossed aside because the sea lions would probably just knock the fences down anyway.
Terry Buzzard, a businessman who owns Island Marine Whale Watching Cruises in Bellingham, Washington, heard about the sea lion problem and had a wonderful idea which could save the Port of Astoria from turning into a port used exclusively by sea lions.
“That being my business, I know the natural predator of sea lions is the orca whale — so I just put two and two together,” Terry said.
Buzzard owns a fake life-sized killer whale which he uses for parades and other events to promote Island Marine Whale Watching Cruises. He thought the mock orca could be used to deter the sea lions from the Port of Astoria, sort of like a scarecrow, reported King5.
The fake orca is built of fiberglass and is 32-feet-long, according to the Oregonian. The 72-year-old businessman built the whale 12 years ago. It is registered as a boat; it has a hatch, floats, and will have an outboard motor installed on it so one of Buzzard’s employee’s can operate it around the docks.
Buzzard is offering the fake killer whale for free and says he wanted to do it “for the fun of it.”
Buzzard thinks the scare tactic can’t hurt. If the sea lions don’t react, then that’s the worst that can happen.
“If it doesn’t look like an orca whale and they call our bluff, then I guess they’ll sit there and thumb their noses at us.”
Humans will get to be amused by the huge fake killer whale, but that’s just a little bit of a benefit. Hopefully, the sea lions will see the big whale as a threat and not want to be its next dinner. The sea lions may then move to a different area instead of keeping the docks all to themselves, which have been causing major damage because of their weight.
The sea lions have also been causing some problems because of their loud noises and unpleasant smells. Additionally, they have been depleting the salmon in the area.
The fake whale will head to the Port of Astoria in a few weeks to begin its scare tactics. It’s unknown how long it will stay to try and creep out the local sea lion community.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]