SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A blind sea lion rescued from a southern California beach will come to live in Utah.
"Big Guy" was rescued and treated and trained at the Marine Mammal Care Center, a federally authorized hospital for injured and sick marine mammals in Los Angeles County.
Big Guy should arrive at Utah’s Hogle Zoo late on Monday.
Animals are admitted to the Care Center due to illness or injury with the primary goal of releasing them back into the wild after rehabilitation.
Due to Big Guy's blindness, he was not able to return to the wild, requiring that he be placed in a facility such as an aquarium or a zoo.
Big Guy was found stranded on a Santa Monica public beach in Los Angeles County with injuries to both eyes on February 6, 2010 and was then admitted to the Care Center. He also had a severe cut on his lower lip.
Facility managers say Big Guy is one of the largest animals that has been cared for at the MMCC, weighing in now at a whopping 700+lbs.
Another MMCC patient, a partially blind female sea lion pup that has been one of Big Guy’s roommates for the past few months will accompany him on his journey to Utah.
Big Guy will be in a brand new state-of-the-art facility called Rocky Shores, which is part of a mixed species exhibit, featuring two other sea lions and three harbor seals. In separate enclosures there will be a polar bear, three grizzly bears, river otters and bald eagles featured.
----Information from: Marine Mammal Care Center.