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

Local cadets gain acceptance to RMC

Military careers one step closer

New Star Cinema project approved

Cameo development gets unanimous council thumbs up

Stelly’s sidewalk gets green light

Federal funding brings project to fruition

Witnesses sought for alleged drunk driver crash in Sidney

Crash happened June 16 on East Saanich Rd. and Canora Dr.

Fake crash warns students about real consequences

Saanich Peninsula emergency crews warn against distracted driving

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest fills harbour with music

Music festival wraps with free party Sunday at Ship Point

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest, Ride Don’t Hide, Cordova Bay Day and more

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

‘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

Happy ending for orphaned bear cubs

Two orphaned bear cubs were captured in Castlegar and sent for rehabilitation.

Most Read