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Big Guy, a blind sea lion, finds a home at last

It took two years, but Big Guy, a 750-pound, blind sea lion found stranded on a Santa Monica beach, has finally found a homeIt took two years, but Big Guy, a 750-pound, blind sea lion found stranded on a Santa Monica beach, has finally found a home.

He's bound for the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City on Sunday, along with his roommate, a partially blind sea lion pup, said Jill Romano, spokeswoman for the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro.

Volunteers at the nonprofit center have cared for the animal since he was rescued on Feb. 6, 2010, but as one of the biggest mammals at the center, he took up room needed for other animals.

The center put off euthanizing Big Guy and kept searching for a permanent home.

In Utah, Big Guy, known for his gentle demeanor, is to be part of an $18-million habitat called Rocky Shores. The exhibit features other sea lions, seals and, in a separate area, polar bears, grizzly bears and bald eagles.

"It's bittersweet for our staff and volunteers," Romano said. "We've really grown to love him, but we're happy he's going to be in a new home."

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-- Esmeralda Bermudez

Photo: Big Guy. Credit: Marine Mammal Care Center

 
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