Healed Sea Lion Returns to Ocean

"Valentine" returned to ocean after being shot in the flipper

By Sarah Grieco
|  Friday, Apr 20, 2012  |  Updated 5:12 PM PDT
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San Diego's Cutest Critters

Courtesy of SeaWorld

Valentine was released into the wild on Friday, April 20. She looks ready to tackle anything now that her flipper has healed.

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The California sea lion that was found with a bullet in its flipper has healed and was released back into the wild on Friday, according to SeaWorld.

The sea lion was rescued on Feb. 11 after beachgoers in Oceanside noticed the injured animal on the shore.

SeaWorld rescued the female sea lion, and it turned out she was also severely malnourished. Specialists removed the bullet from her flipper and bandaged up the wound.

The staff nicknamed her "Valentine" since she was rescued a few days before the holiday.

After two months in the animal park's rehabilitation program, Valentine gained more than 40 pounds and returned to full health.

SeaWorld said they returned the animal 2 to 3 miles off the coast in a good feeding area where dolphins, sea lions and sea birds were actively feeding.

 

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