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Rehabbed sea lion released back into the wild 0

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Flash Gordon the sea lion leaves his cage after a successful recovery from surgery Wednesday. (VANCOUVER AQUARIUM)

Flash Gordon the sea lion leaves his cage after a successful recovery from surgery Wednesday. (VANCOUVER AQUARIUM)

Sea lion Flash Gordon, who was discovered last August with a "flasher" fishhook hanging from his mouth by locals near Ucluelet, was released from rehabilitation into the wild Wednesday.

He was released at a park in Sooke, B.C. after undergoing surgery and a month-long recovery process. Vancouver Aquarium rescue centre workers removed the large hook, which was lodged in his throat near the heart, and also patched up a gash on the animal's back.

"He had a really good appetite about two days after the procedure," said rescue centre manager Lindsaye Akhurst. "He responded very well to treatments and we had him on antibiotics, because of the infection from the hook."

Gordon's diet steadily improved after the operation, she said. He's even regained the 50 kilograms he'd lost from his injury, thanks to a daily ration of fish.

"He's exploring at this point," said Akhurst, who added the California sea lion didn't seem to have any problems "getting his bearings" after he was let go.


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