A male sea lion found with a single gunshot wound in La Jolla is returning to life under the sea after his successful rehabilitation.
Buck, a 250-pound sea lion, was spotted on Boomer Beach in La Jolla the afternoon of October 5 with what a rescue team believed was a bite wound above his right eye.
Later, a radiograph of the wound revealed that he was shot at point-blank range by an unknown suspect, according to Booker Crenshaw with SeaWorld.
SeaWorld's veterinarian staff treated Buck and gave him pain medication and antibiotics. Over the course of the next few months, his wound healed, and he gained more than 50 pounds.
Veterinarians say his eyesight is back to normal too, so they are confident he can survive back in the wild.
Friday afternoon, the staff at SeaWorld said goodbye to Buck and released him back into the wild at Boarder Field State Park Beach.