(Ukee the Steller sea lion/Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre - Facebook)

A sea lion was found severely injured off the coast of Ucluelet on Vancouver Island.

The male adult Steller sea lion named ‘Ukee’ was admitted to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre over the weekend, and was unresponsive for almost 24 hours.

Upon closer examination, it was determined that he had been shot in the head and there was at least one bullet lodged in his skull.

Posted by Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre on Monday, October 15, 2018

Ukee is about 8-10 years old, weighing between 300-350 kg, and is the largest sea lion ever admitted to the Rescue Centre.

After first being discovered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, it took a super-sized team of seven rescue centre personnel, local volunteers, a truck and crane from local company Windsor Plywood, and a cargo van to rescue him.

According to a Facebook post, Ukee is possibly blind and severely emaciated. Staff at the centre began stabilizing him, by giving him fluids, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication over the weekend.

Further examination and assessment will take place later this week.

Anyone who sees a marine mammal in distress is asked to stay back, keep people and pets away, and report it to the rescue centre at 604-258-7325 or the DFO hotline at 1-800-465-4336

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