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Swimming In Trash: Sea Lion Seen Sunbathing Amid Piles Of Garbage

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento River's trash problem is more than just an eyesore. A sea lion was spotted sunbathing along the Sacramento River just a few days ago amidst piles of garbage.

sacramento river trash

"I was like 'Oh My God, there's water bottles and trash and liquor bottles.' God that's got to be so bad for them," Sue Kalar said. "It's not like it can pick up the bottle and move it out of its way or throw it in the trashcan. That's us as humans. That's our responsibility to not do that to them."

It's not uncommon for sea lions to visit the Sacramento River to feed before heading back down south.

"California sea lions are very curious and intelligent animals," Dr. Cara Field, the medical director at the Marine Mammal Center, said.

Dr. Field says sea lions know better than to ingest trash.

"The real threat to see lions are things that are round or loops that they can get over their head can get stuck around the neck or on a flipper and that can cut deeply into their skin and cause severe trauma," Feild said.

READ: Gilligan Goes Home: Sea Lion Rescued From Highway Returns To Ocean After Rehab Stint

The Center rescues hundreds of California sea lions every year.

"Many of those do have entanglements or plastic debris around their neck, occasionally ingesting it," Field siad.

Multiple state and federal agencies oversee the river, but it's unclear whose responsibility it is to keep it clean. There are volunteer organizations that step in to help clean up, but Sue says more needs to be done.

Neighbors like Dmitri Jeziorski suggest the city add more trashcans to the area.

"We can walk six blocks and not even see your garbage can. We are destroying where we live. This isn't just our home. I mean mother nature gave us this. And to just completely muck it all up it's a disgrace," Sue said.

CBS13 did reach out to the city. They say this shouldn't be happening along the riverfront and they do plan on looking into it.

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