Sea lion shot in face one year ago to live at Vancouver Aquarium

Senor Cinco was deemed non-releasable by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans

A California sea lion who made headlines last year after he was blinded by gunshot wounds has made an impressive recovery, but won’t be released back into the ocean.

Senor Cinco, so named because he was found on May 5, 2017, was discovered emaciated and weak on Spanish Banks beach in Vancouver, suffering from two gunshot wounds believed to have been from a small-calibre gun weeks earlier.

He was immediately brought to the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, where he underwent surgery to remove the bullets, as well as broken teeth.

VIDEO: Sea lion rescued, in care after being shot in the face

“We could tell immediately that his condition was critical,” said Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of the rescue centre, in a news release at the time. “An adult sea lion should not be easy to approach, but he was lethargic and not responsive to activity around him on the busy public beach.”

One year later, the sea lion is doing much better, gaining an impressive 140 kilograms, or just more than 300 pounds.

But his permanent injuries from the gunshots, including blindness in both eyes, makes it impossible for him to eat on his own, so the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has declared that Senor Cinco cannot be released back into the wild.

The animal will now call the Sugar Habitat at the aquarium home, becoming the first California sea lion to take up residence there.

“He is settling in just fine,” said curator of marine mammals Brian Sheehan. “His first day was spent starting to feel his way around his new habitat, but in the weeks and months to come, Cinco will begin his training, learning behaviours that will help us take care of him, and provide exercise and enrichment.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

12-acre mixed-use project proposed in Mission

Proposal includes 131 residential apartments as well as restaurant, office space and a gaming centre

83-year-old inmate dies at Mission Institution

Correctional Services Canada says Ralph Whitfield Morris died in custody

PHOTOS: Black bear gets curious on Lower Mainland driveway

Joe Wu captured photos of the animal wandering in Surrey

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Racing down the hill

Mission Soapbox Derby takes place Saturday (June 23) morning

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

1 man in critical condition after ‘serious’ stabbing in Downtown Eastside: police

Vancouver police say there was an altercation and stabbing appears targeted

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

Seal pup rescued near White Rock pier

Animal was moving and “barking” when rescue crews arrived

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Most Read