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Sea Lion Blinded By Gunshot Wound Recovering In Sausalito

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Whirlybird, the sea lion blinded by metal fragments from a gunshot. (Marine Mammal Center)

Whirlybird, the sea lion blinded by metal fragments from a gunshot. (Marine Mammal Center)

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SAUSALITO (CBS/AP) — A California sea lion blinded by a gunshot wound was recovering at Sausalito’s Marine Mammal Center six weeks after it was found in Santa Cruz.

Whirlybird was taken to Sausalito after he was found listless and unresponsive on a set of stairs near Corcoran Lagoon on July 2. A gunshot wound to the face left the young animal blind in both eyes.

A x-ray show the bullet fragments embedded in the head of Whirlybird the sea lion. (Marine Mammal Center)

A x-ray show the bullet fragments embedded in the head of Whirlybird the sea lion. (Marine Mammal Center)

Marine Mammal Center spokesman Jim Oswald said Whirlybird was recovering nicely, but won’t be able to return to the wild.

Oswald said Whirlybird has befriended a sea lion named Old Ray who was also a gunshot wound victim.

Center officials said it’s not unusual to find sea lions that have been shot, usually by fishermen trying to protect their catch.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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