A California sea lion is in care at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre after being found on Spanish Banks sufferent from gunshot wounds to its face last Friday.
It’s believed the sea lion, now named Senor Cinco, was shot at least two times by bullets from a small-calibre gun shattering his teeth and blinding him in one eye and possibly hitting his optic nerve.
To make matters worse, the wounds do not appear to be new, Dr. Martin Haulene, the aquarium’s head veterinarian, said in a press release.
It’s believed the underweight sea lion has “likely been in distress for weeks,” Haulene said.
Senor Cinco is now undergoing supportive therapy and receiveing necessary medical attention at the rescue centre.
“The injuries he sustained at the hands of humans left him in pain and unable to forage on his own. We’re happy we can ease his suffering, but he has a long road to recovery ahead,” Dr. Martin Haulene, the aquarium’s head veterinarian, said in a press release.
Haulene and animal rescuers are not sure if the sea lion will be released, or require long-term care.
California sea lions breed off the coast of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula, but during non-breeding season a large number of males migrate north to B.C.