Town to use fake killer whale to scare away sea lions

Orca plot to clear docks

Town Will Use Fake Orca To Scare Sea Lions Away

A community in Oregon is bringing in some unusual help to try to fix their sea lion problem. They're hoping a fake killer whale will do the trick.

Hundreds of sea lions like to gather on the docks in the port city of Astoria and are causing disruption. While the animals are a draw for spectators, they aren't so popular among the local fishermen who would like to see them relocated.

The sea lions limit the docks the fishermen can use for their boats and they also feed on the local fish. The Port of Astoria has tried using electrified mats, but those aren't working. They've also considered fences. But so far nothing has put off the determined creatures.

Terry Buzzard of Island Mariner Cruises has used the life-size mock orca he built 10 years ago to promote his business during parades and events. He heard about Astoria's pesky sea lion problem and offered to help.

Buzzard has offered the use of the orca - which is 16-feet long and made of fibre glass - free of charge. As a natural predator of sea lions, it is hoped it will scare them away.

Local newspaper, the Daily Astoria reports: 'Port staff will tow the model around, while it emits orca sounds.'

Buzzard says he doesn't know if the fake orca will scare away the sea lions. At worst, he says, it will be an amusing distraction for the humans.