BY SUE BRIDGEOn July 20, Deputy City Attorney Andrew Jones stated in court that the city of San Diego has “always understood it’s our obligation to disperse the seals.”
Yet, the city attorney’s office, the mayor and most of the City Council have spent an estimated $5 million to keep seals in the Children’s Pool, according to calculations based on estimated city attorney salaries and hours spent in court and Paul Kennerson’s fee paid in the settlement.
But, if Attorney Jones spoke the truth, city officials would reduce the seal population to reasonable numbers, remove the lethal level of E.coli bacteria caused by seal waste in the sand and water and restore peace. However, none of that has happened, because militants have succeeded in their stated goal of influencing politicians about animal rights.
The international network of animal rights radicals is mirrored by the local rabble rousers at the Children’s Pool who attempt to prevent onlookers from walking on a stairway that bears this sign: “Public access on the beach is allowed at all times. (signed) The City of San Diego.”
The beach is open because these seals are not an endangered species. In fact, since they first started settling on the beach after being released by SeaWorld in the nearby kelp beds, their population has tripled, thereby polluting the cove.
The radicals’ actions have included cursing, threatening and stealing from beachgoers. A stun gun attack wounded a swimmer. Sand thrown in the face of a father attempting to shield his young daughter from physical attack ended with a police response.
But the militants have good reasons for making war. According to the tax return of The Animal Protection and Rescue League (APRL), an affiliate of Save the Seals activists at the Children’s Pool, these radicals make their living there - $300,000 last year. Those donations come from folks who believe that APRL protects helpless animals.
Reasonable proposals are available to resolve the issue and remove the protesters. For example, cleaning the sand by dredging would disperse the seals into open water where they would then mate and reproduce naturally as they always have. With the intelligent cooperation of taxpayers and the city government, peace could return to our shoreline.
Sue Bridge is a La Jolla resident.