Orange County

Inflatable ‘Air Dancers' Shake Hips to Repel Sea Lions at Dana Point Harbor

Arm-waving and hip-shaking inflatable tube "dancers," much like the ones seen at car dealerships, will soon be added to the Dana Point Harbor landscape as a way to deal with the sea lion population that has been making itself too cozy in the area.

The Dana Point Marine Company will install the so-called "air dancers" Monday at the harbor's docks to deter sea lions who relax on docks and boats, which can cause costly damage, officials said.

"This pilot program represents an innovative approach to keeping the marinas safe with minimal impact to marine mammals," said Lisa Bartlett, chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

The program comes after an increase in sea lion activity over the past 18 months.

"Wildlife is an important part of our marine environment, but large sea lions can damage docks and boats and can be aggressive toward humans," Bartlett said.

Kory McCain, an Orange County park ranger, said that there could be as many as 50 sea lions on the dock, especially at night when there are less people.

Officials said the unusual movement of the red, white and blue air dancers should encourage sea lions to move onto other areas less populated by people and off the docks.

The program will begin Monday with three air dancers placed near the Harbor Patrol dock.

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