Sea Lion, Rescued from Huntington Beach, Returns to Wild and Travels to Channel Islands

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A sea lion, rescued after being found with fish hooks embedded in her mouth, has made it to San Nicolas Island — the most remote of California’s Channel Islands.

The Orange County Register reports Huntington Beach City Lifeguards found the sea lion, named Raptor, on the sand near the Huntington Beach Pier on June 13.

She was released last month after four months in rehabilitation at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach. When she first arrived, staff had to put her under anesthesia to remove the four hooks embedded in her mouth, the center said in a post to Facebook.

Raptor had made the 102.81-mile (165.45-kilometer) journey to the Channel Islands within three days of her release.

Raptor is the first sea lion tagged by the center this year. Data from her tag not only charts her course but can show how successful rehabilitated sea lions can be after their release. The center has released 20 satellite-tagged sea lions since 2013.

KTLA’s Marissa Wenzke contributed to this report.

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