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Sea lion shot in flipper recuperating at SeaWorld San Diego

February 16, 2012 | 12:49 pm


A California sea lion that had been shot in the left flipper is recuperating at SeaWorld San Diego and listed in "stable but guarded" condition, park officials said Thursday.

The wounded female mammal was found Saturday on the beach in Oceanside with a "large wound" and was lethargic, malnourished and dehydrated. It was taken to SeaWorld for surgery to remove bullet fragments, including in its shoulder blade.

Estimated to be 5 to 10 years old, the sea lion weighs about 100 pounds, about 25 to 30 pounds underweight for her age, SeaWorld officials said. The animal is being treated with antibiotics and is eating and alert.

Harming a sea lion is a violation of the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Sea lion specialists at SeaWorld are "cautiously hopeful" that the animal will recover.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Wounded sea lion.  Credit: Mike Aguilera / SeaWorld San Diego