SAUSALITO (AP/BCN) – A sea lion that was found shot in the face on a Sausalito beach is blind and will not be able to return to the wild.

The roughly 6-year-old male adult sea lion, named for his regal demeanor with a nod to the holiday season, was found on the evening of Dec. 8 at Swede’s Beach in Sausalito suffering from the gunshot wound, center officials said.

Silent Knight’s right eye was destroyed in the shooting, but Marine Mammal Center officials “had guarded hope” until Monday that the left eye could be salvaged, Boehm said.

But now that the veterinary team has determined the animal is completely blind, the center has to try to find a zoo or aquarium for him since he is not suitable for re-entry to the wild, Boehm said.

“The challenge is, a lot of zoos and aquariums are filled to capacity,” he said. “The match might not be immediately straightforward, but more and more zoos and aquariums are finding there’s tremendous storytelling potential” in an animal like Silent Knight.

He is the ninth marine mammal to be treated for gunshot wounds at the Sausalito-based center this year. There were 19 gunshot victims treated there in 2009, center officials said.

Some people view sea lions and other marine mammals as nuisances to human seafaring, and they are sometimes shot by fishermen.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Comments (7)
  1. sealion sue says:

    glad to know he wont be euthanized like yesterday’s article said

    1. Victor says:

      Glad California isn’t like Oregon and Washington State. Shame on those Pacific Northwest states for allegedly euthanizing them for eating salmon earlier that summer. Why do they hate sea lions more than salmon anyway?

  2. Lilly says:

    It is extremely nice to hear that people take the time and effort to save Silent Knight. Thank you for saving his life and trying so hard to make sure he has a good life.

    Thank you

  3. Victor says:

    I still expect whoever was responsible for shooting Silent Knight in the eye should be arrested for animal cruelty.

  4. kac says:

    IF something had happened to him NATURALLY out in the ocean that’s one thing, BUT MAN did this to him out of ignorance, stupidity and/or arrogance man owes this animal is the way I see it. People are catching too much fish and such anyway, how much gets tossed because it can’t be sold?

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