Rescued California sea lion will make debut at Point Defiance Zoo this weekend

TACOMA, Wash. — A sea lion that was rescued in California will make his public debut at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium starting Friday.

Björn, who’s estimated to be about 10 years old, was rescued off southern California in 2019.

He was brought to a Los Angeles rehabilitation center and after an examination, staff discovered Björn had bullets lodged in his head, which caused him to go blind, officials said. He also had a scar on his abdomen from what staff said was likely a shark bite, and was underweight.

After two years since his rescue, Björn is at a healthy weight. He arrived to his permanent home at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo in May and is adjusting, officials said.

“Bjorn has a second chance, thanks to the dedication and hard work of so many people,” said Dr. Karen Wolf, Point Defiance Zoo’s head veterinarian. “We are grateful for the care he received and are ready to continue that exceptional care at Point Defiance where he will live out the rest of his life in comfort.”

Björn will make his debut on Saturday and Sunday.