Sea Lion Survives Being Shot in the Head with a Shotgun
Nobody knows why the sea lion was shot or who was responsible, but the 340-pound male suffered serious injuries, with one eye swollen shut and the other missing. At least five pellets remain lodged in the animal's head.
Workers at the Marine Mammal Center dubbed the shooting victim "Silent Knight" in honor of the upcoming Christmas holiday and what they called his "regal bearing."
"He's finally resting. Finally sleeping and relaxing," veterinarian Dr. Bill Van Bonn told the news source. "Some people do view these animals as nuisances... There must be a better solution than to wound an animal like this and cause this amount of suffering."
The extent of Silent Knight's injuries is not yet clear, and his veterinarians plan on seeing how he heals before they attempt to remove the remaining shotgun pellets. The doctors are also unsure of whether or not he will be able to be released back into the wild.
"There are plenty of blind sea lions out there," Van Bonn said to the media outlet. "They do exist. For a variety of reasons, being blind in itself is not a life-threatening situation."
According to the National Institute of Justice, 11,346 people were killed by gun violence in 2005, with 477,040 people affected by crimes committed with a gun. Both of these figures have fallen from the respective peaks of 17,075 and approximately 1.3 million, both reached in the early 1990s.
People who want to contribute to gun control can donate to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence or the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation.