A Superior Court judge has ruled that the city of San Diego must disperse seals at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla, but expressed doubt over the city’s plans to shoo away the pinnipeds, the Union-Tribune is reporting.

The newspaper says Judge Yuri Hoffman also questioned the plan’s estimated $689,000 annual price tag and set a June 15 hearing to talk about how the city should disperse the animals.

The city has filed a plan with the court indicating that it would remove the seals by playing recordings of barking dogs. When that no longer worked because of the seals’ intelligence, the city could vary the sound or spray water on the animals, the city’s proposal states. The Union-Tribune had a rundown of the plan on Saturday.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s office noted in a statement that the state Legislature is considering a law that would allow seals at the Children’s Pool if the city approved such a change.

Last fall, Hoffman also ruled the seals must be shooed to restore the Children’s Pool to its original purpose of a safe swimming area for children. But that order was halted after an attorney for the La Jolla Friends of Seals obtained a federal court order preventing the removal of the animals.

RANI GUPTA

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