Featured Image Credit: Tad Motoyama via NBC Los Angeles
Buddy the blind sea lion has made a new home for himself in the Los Angeles Zoo’s Sea Life Cliffs exhibit. He is 10 years old and a whopping 700 pounds.
Jennifer Kuypers, a senior animal keeper, said “Buddy has definitely brought a new sense of excitement to Sea Life Cliffs. Being from the wild, he came to us without any trained behaviors, and as we work with him we’re learning about him as an individual. Buddy is a confident, smart sea lion who is adapting well to his new environment.”
Buddy was rescued from Manhattan Beach on July 15th, 2016 after being found extremely malnourished and emaciated. Although he was rehabilitated by the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, his blindness prevented them from releasing him back into the wild because he would be unable to forage, hunt or defend himself.
Executive director of the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, Jeff Cozad, said “This California sea lion was deemed non-releasable due to his injuries and blindness. That’s when the Los Angeles Zoo stepped in. They felt our patient would enhance their Sea Life Cliffs exhibit and found him to be a perfect fit. We couldn’t be happier that he was placed locally where MMCC L.A. visitors and volunteers can still visit him often.”
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