Feb 20

SeaWorld San Diego Taking Care of Their 'Valentine'


SeaWorld San Diego recently rescued a young California sea lion with a severe wound on her flipper. Following X-rays, park veterinarians found out that she had actually been shot and a bullet fragment was lodged in her shoulder blade.

The vets did an amazing job removing the bullet and treating her wound. “She’s a very lucky sea lion,” said veterinarian Dr. Hendrik Nollens. “It looked like someone was aiming for her heart and actually got her in the flipper. The bullet then deflected into her shoulder blade.” Check out the rescue team in action in this video:

She’s not out of the woods yet, but SeaWorld’s animal care team is optimistic about her prognosis. She’s using her flipper (which is necessary for propulsion in the water), she’s eating well and the wound is beginning to heal.

Whether an intentional act of cruelty or a fisherman protecting his catch, the shooting is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Animal rescue specialists named her Valentine because the surgery to remove the bullet fragment was performed the day before the holiday.

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