Shoo!

Plastic coyote decoys, of CBSLA.com

Astoria’s sea lions were not deterred in the least by the orca escapade, and were only temporarily dissuaded from lounging all over the East Mooring Basin docks by the arm-waving tube men. Our city’s attempts to shoo away the pinnipeds made the national news, and were noted by other coastal towns with the same problem. At least now everyone knows what won’t work.

However, the Newport Harbor Yacht Club in California has come up with an imaginative trick to scare off the sea lions, according to Mother Nature Network: Plastic coyotes (http://tinyurl.com/scarelion). Seriously. With yellow eyes, fanged snarling grins, and furry tails wafting in the breeze. A screen shot of the coyotes at work is shown, courtesy of CBSLA.com

Even though sea lions and real coyotes would probably never encounter each other in the wild, the sea lions are still avoiding the plastic predators lurking on Newport’s docks and piers. And, this is not a very expensive tactic, either, as the faux coyotes are available at Walmart for $38.19 each.

The Newport Beach harbor master is so impressed with the initial results at the yacht club, the city is buying eight of the decoys to place around the harbor, where sea lions are acting like drunken frat boys, sinking boats with their weight, chasing people and getting into all sorts of mischief.

The only catch is that sea lions are devilishly smart, and sooner or later they’ll probably catch on that the coyotes aren’t real, and ignore them. Then what?

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Daily Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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