Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo gets 2 sea lions saved from the brink of death

 Some good news in the wake of the tradegy at SeaWorld:

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Buzz and Annabelle are two young California sea lions who experienced the worst of nature and humanity last year. Both almost starved to death and are nearly blind, and one suffered a gunshot wound to an eye.

But thanks to the Marine Mammal Center of Sausalito, Calif., and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the sea lions, which arrived here Wednesday night, are likely to live full, healthy lives.
The Cleveland zoo says this is the first time in at least 20 years that it has acquired exotic rescue-rehab animals. Most of these animals are born in captivity and find their way to zoos through an elaborate network within the 221-member Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Alan Sironen, the zoo's curator of carnivores and large mammals, said Annabelle and Buzz are the culmination of a two-year search. The zoo has another California sea lion and four harbor seals and wanted a larger group.
The new sea lions, both about a year old, flew into Cleveland from Oakland, Calif., on a FedEx flight, tended by Dr. Christopher Bonar, a zoo veterinarian, and Travis Vineyard, assistant animal care manager.
The animals traveled in their own 40-by-27-by-30-inch kennel-like enclosure. Sironen said FedEx is the only carrier that allows animals and handlers to travel together.

Read the rest of the article here.