SeaWorld believes the gashes on its body are most likely from a shark attack. A member of the SeaWorld rescue team and a veterinarian checked out the animal on Sept. 3.
"The vet observed that the bite wound looks like it is just in the blubber layer and is not very deep," SeaWorld spokesperson David Koontz stated in an email. "He (the vet) also couldn't see any signs of infection and, although from a distance, the wound looks like it is granulating, which is an indication that the wound is healing. The animal is also active (and) alert and has a healthy weight, which is a sign that the animal is continuing to forage for food."
Koontz added that sea lions are remarkably hardy animals.
"I remember (a) story one of the researchers told me about when she was out on one of the Channel Islands doing some rookery monitoring years ago," he said. "That particular summer, she saw a sea lion with a severe bite to its side and flipper area. To her, it looked like the flipper was almost bitten from the body. The next summer, the researcher saw the animal again on the island, and the wound, as severe as it looked the year before, had healed."
Two recent hammerhead shark sightings in as many days prompted a closing and an advisory along La Jolla beaches. On Aug. 29, lifeguards closed a portion of a La Jolla beach from La Jolla Shores to Scripps Pier amid a hammerhead sighting dangerously close to shore. The following day, lifeguards issued an advisory on a second incident, but they didn't prevent swimmers from entering the water.