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Injured Sea Lion To Land New Home At San Francisco Zoo

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Injured Sea Lion

The sea lion called “Silent Knight,” shown during its rehabilitation at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. (CBS)

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SAUSALITO (CBS/AP) — A sea lion discovered with a gunshot wound to the face on a Sausalito beach has found a home at the San Francisco Zoo.

A spokesman for the Sausalito-based Marine Mammal Center, where the animal named Silent Knight is currently being held and treated, said the transfer is expected to occur sometime next month.

Zoo officials were rebuilding a sea lion pool that is currently empty to accommodate Silent Knight and another sea lion, Henry.

Silent Knight—a 7-foot-long, 350-pound male— gained media attention when it was found with about six metal buckshot pellets in its head on Swede’s Beach in Sausalito on December 8th.  The injury left it permanently blind.

Henry was found last May in Humboldt County suffering from  malnutrition and blindness in both eyes. The cause of the blindness is unknown and believed to be permanent, according to the center.

After the pair make their move in May, the zoo plans to hold a  public debut once the animals get accustomed to their new home, center spokesman Jim Oswald said.

The Marine Mammal Center was also scheduled to release five elephant seals and a sea lion into the Monterey Bay Thursday afternoon after being nursed back to health by the facility, said Oswald.

The animals, which were all suffering from malnutrition, were rescued at various times last month in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Mendocino counties.

The animals were found after they somehow became separated from their mothers while they were still developing, according to Oswald.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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