One particular fisherman discovered the strength of a sea lion the hard way.
The sea lion had been caught in the fishing nets, likely after attempting to steal fish from the net, when it was hurled onto the ship’s deck by the crew. Although the crew quickly cut the net and freed the animal, it immediately took one fisherman and threw him across the boat.
In video footage of the event, the crew and a frightened dog immediately jump back from the animal. The dog cautiously takes a few steps toward the sea lion, though the sea mammal doesn’t hesitate to attack.
"This poor creature was obviously very frightened of the situation it found itself in and although the fishermen were trying to free it, it reacted to what it may have perceived as a threat," a spokesperson for Taronga Zoo said. "That is also why it confronted the dog.”
The spokesperson added that a possible lack of air after being caught in the fishing net could also have contributed to the sea lion’s disorientation.
Eventually, the fisherman were able to get the sea lion back into the ocean by using a hose.
Taronga Zoo marine mammal keepers believe that the animal was a female Stellar sea lion. The experts noted that sea lions have powerful jaws and teeth, which means flinging a fisherman aside would be effortless.