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

UPDATE: Construction on Hwy. 4 halted after tree crashes into traffic

Trees are being cleared along the highway between Port Alberni and the Tofino-Ucluelet junction.

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Find your groove with hand drums in Port Alberni

Nanaimo-based trio will be holding drumming workshop and concert

Alberni Senior Men’s Floor Hockey League reunites

Port Alberni has always been a hockey town, even when there was no ice

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

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

10 feet from home: B.C. grassfire offers stark reminder how quickly blazes burn

Kamloops woman among first people in B.C. to be told to evacuate home this wildfire season

Happy ending for orphaned bear cubs

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

B.C. man (pick up truck, Lucky Beer poster, and all) revels in return to Esquimalt

Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie assumed command of the Maritime Forces Pacific

Mounties raid “extensive” Vancouver Island pot grow operation

Execution of 3 search warrants has yielded 3 arrests and the seizure of 2,000 marijuana plants

Platform chosen for online B.C. cannabis sales

Ottawa-based company to create websites for when marijuana becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17

UPDATE: Police say story of pretend cops ‘arresting’ woman in CRA scam fake

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Most Read