VICTORIA -- A sea lion was rescued near Victoria on Monday after it was discovered with a plastic band wrapped around its neck.

Staff at the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve say officials with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as well as a veterinarian from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, were called to the marine reserve after the animal was found entangled in plastic.

"They were able to successfully dart the sea lion with a tranquilizer injection, remove the band, give him tracking tags on his front flippers, and take a blood sample," according to a statement on the eco-reserve's website.

Photos of the encounter appear to show scarring around the sea lion's neck while conservationists work to remove the obstruction.

Race rocks

According to staff, the number of sea lions visiting the islands that make up the Race Rocks reserve has been increasing daily.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has not responded to a CTV News request for comment on this story.

This story will be updated as more information is available.