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Los Angeles Times
128716.ME.0926.seals2.KTA 9-26-07 (La Jolla) A seal swims in the cove of Children' s Pool Beach located In an upscale beach community in La Jolla. Harbor Seals and California Sea Lions have taken over the popular beach that has environmentalists squaring-off with swimmer' s rights groups. The marine mammals often times use the Children' s Pool Beach as a location to haul themselves out of the water and rest.
A California sea lion that was rescued last year with gunshot wounds to its face has a new home.
The 650-pound animal -- named Sgt. Nevis -- made its debut on Friday at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom theme park in Vallejo. It is part of the park's Seal Cove exhibit, which includes other sea lions as well as harbor seals.
"Considering what he has gone through, he's very resilient," Michael Muraco, the theme park's animal care director, said in a statement.
The wounded adult male sea lion was spotted by Yolo County officials in the Sacramento River in November.
It eluded rescuers for several weeks, swimming between the Sacramento River and Pier 39 in San Francisco.
When it was finally netted, it was in critical condition with two deep gunshot wounds above its nose, officials say. It's weight had also dropped to 358 pounds.
It was nursed back to health at The Marine Mammal Center's hospital in Sausalito and turned over to the park.
Officials say the shooting damaged the animal's nasal passage, limiting its ability to dive underwater for food and modifying the way it breathes.
"Life in the wild was not an option for this animal," said Jim Oswald, a spokesman for The Marine Mammal Center.
The animal -- named after Yolo County Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Nevis, who was with the sea lion during its rescue -- is adjusting well, park officials say.
Before moving to the Seal Cove exhibit, it spent time with two female sea lions, Ella and Indigo, and could be seen sleeping with the two girls curled up around it.