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

Man charged in Salmon Arm 7-Eleven fire granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

Outdoor ice rink opens in the North Shuswap

Those looking to skate in the fresh air can do so at Farrell’s Field in Celista

Man admits responsibility for 2016 death of Shuswap motorcyclist

Brian Watson, 60, died after being struck while riding his motorcycle on Squilax-Anglemont Road

Super blood wolf moon fills Okanagan skies, to photographers’ delight

Photographers had a rare chance Sunday to capture a rare lunar eclipse

Video: Snow Pitch Tournament a home run

Teams competed for softball supremacy on the snow-covered Finlayson Park ball diamonds

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Former Kelowna city manager downplays possible Costco move

Ron Mattiussi says if store leaves for Westside, another big box retailer will likely take the site

Most Read