“Keekee” the Sea Lion Released to Ocean

A rehabilitated California sea lion was given a Christmas Eve  send-off when he was released back to the ocean Monday in Marin County, a  Marine Mammal Center spokesman said.

"Keekee" the sea lion was rescued from the Monterey Bay near  Cannery Row on Nov. 5 when he was found to be lethargic, malnourished and  suffering from apparent bite marks on his neck, center officials said.

The sickly sea lion was brought to the Marine Mammal Center in the  Marin Headlands where veterinarians examined him and discovered he had  intestinal flukes and a low red blood cell count.

After many weeks of treatment, Keekee got healthier and was eating  more -- nearly 6 pounds of herring daily -- before his release at Rodeo Beach  near the mammal center on Christmas Eve morning, center spokesman Jim Oswald  said.

He was released from him his carrier and waddled into the surf,  barking with apparent excitement with a small crowd watching his return to  the sea.

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