A 900-pound male sea lion is doing well on the rocks in West Linn, Ore., contrary to reports of lethargy and illness, a biology professor said.
The sea lion, known officially as C-742, was the worry of visitors to Mary S. Young Park in the Portland suburb of West Linn. Camped full-time on the rocks near the Willamette River, he appeared to be near death, the (Portland) Oregonian said Thursday.
Portland State University biology professor Debbie Duffield said, however, he was merely showing territorial tendencies and was healthy except for a few wounds likely picked up by squabbling with other breeding males.
She described him as "very well fed."
C-742 now returns to the rocks regularly to rest after swimming, a sign of proper health, the newspaper said.
Police have restated their warning to stay clear of him, nonetheless.
"Please just leave it alone. He's not sick, and he just does what he does," said West Linn police spokesman Mike Francis.
Signs have been posted throughout the park, advising dog owners to keep their pets leashed, to avoid conflict with the sea lion.