April 21, 2012 in Nation/World

Blind sea lion will soon call Utah zoo home

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Big Guy, a blind sea lion, is headed to the Hogle Zoo in Utah.
(Full-size photo)

LOS ANGELES – It took a few months to treat a blind sea lion found injured on a Southern California beach. It took two years to find the Big Guy a home.

The 700-plus-pound sea lion will be flown FedEx from Los Angeles to Hogle Zoo in Utah on May 3.

A weekend truck move was scuttled Friday when zoo officials determined that crates they’d planned to use for the trip were too big for the truck, said Erica Hansen, community relations coordinator at the 81-year-old zoo.

Big Guy, a partially blind female companion and a third sea lion from the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito will share an $18 million habitat called Rocky Shores with other sea creatures, bears and bald eagles.

Big Guy has been taking up room needed for other animals, but caretakers repeatedly put off euthanasia as they searched for a home. Big Guy is gentle and graceful, likes people and animals and deserved a home, said David Bard, director of the Marine Mammal Care Center in Pedro, 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

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