A sea lion named Mandalorian had to be euthanized after suffering pellet gun wounds

Jan 8, 2020, 5:29 PM | Updated: 5:47 pm
A California animal rescue organization says this sea lion, named Mandalorian, had to euthanize the...
A California animal rescue organization says this sea lion, named Mandalorian, had to euthanize the animal because of injuries it sustained when it was shot by a pellet gun. (Photo Credit: Pacific Marine Mammal Center via CNN)
(Photo Credit: Pacific Marine Mammal Center via CNN)
Originally Published: 08 JAN 20 12:43 ET
Updated: 08 JAN 20 12:54 ET

(CNN) — A California sea lion rescued in mid-December after it was found suffering from pellet gun wounds had to be euthanized because of its injuries.

Animal control found the 1½-year-old female sea lion in distress at a surfing spot called The Wedge in Newport Beach, California, on December 16. Her rescuers at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach named her Mandalorian.

Krysta Higuchi, a spokeswoman for the center, told CNN there are several Star Wars fans on staff and they have named other rescued animals after “Star Wars” characters like Yoda, Leia and Skywalker.

One of the rescuers had just finished watching the popular Disney series “The Mandalorian” and wanted to give the injured sea lion a good, strong name.

Rescuers found two distinct wounds on the sea lion, including a draining abscess on her dorsal back that was causing significant pain and discomfort and limiting her mobility, according to a press release.

An X-ray revealed two wounds on her chest that most likely came from a pellet rifle. One of the pellets struck between her ribs and vertebrae, and the entry point was severely infected. The other pellet was lodged between two ribs.

“We tried draining the abscess but once (staff) noticed the gunshot wounds, it was a waiting game to see if she would make a turn for the better,” Higuchi said. “Unfortunately, she made a turn for the worse.”

Mandalorian was carefully monitored throughout the next week but her health continued to decline. On December 22, she was humanely euthanized.

During the necropsy, staff discovered her body was filled with puss and dead tissue.

“We know we made the right decision and the animal is no longer suffering,” Higuchi said.

She told CNN they have no idea why this sea lion was shot but said it could have been some young kids playing with a pellet gun, an angry fisherman, or even someone annoyed that the sea lion was on his or her boat.

“There’s a way we can cohabitate with these animals,” she said. “If an animal is in a location where it shouldn’t be, we’ll help get it relocated and assist with animal control.”

The gunshot pellets were recovered and sent to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Law Enforcement for investigation. The office investigates suspected violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which bans injuring or killing marine mammals in the wild, including sea lions.

™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


Tyre Nichols Protests...
Chandler Holt

More protests today after release of video depicting the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols

Protesters across the US heldmarches & rallies on Saturday, one day after the release of video showing the police beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.
14 hours ago
Temperatures dropping weather worsens...
Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist

‘Dangerous’ arctic air returns this weekend after a month-long hiatus

What has been a mild start to 2023 will come to a halt this weekend as winter makes a roaring comeback across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
14 hours ago
Video footage of a traffic stop that led to the deadly beating of Tyre Nichols shows "acts that def...
Travis Caldwell, Jay Croft, Eric Bradner and Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN

Memphis releases video showing police stop that led to Tyre Nichols’ death

Editor’s note: This article contains graphic descriptions of violence. (CNN) — The city of Memphis has released police body camera and surveillance video showing the January 7 traffic stop and violent police confrontation that led to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols. During the initial encounter between Nichols and Memphis police, an officer can be seen […]
2 days ago
File**People walk past the entrance to a Bed Bath & Beyond retail store along Sixth Avenue in N...
Paul R. La Monica and Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Bed Bath & Beyond says it can no longer pay its debts

The end could be near for struggling retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, as it warned in a regulatory filing Thursday that it received a notice of default from its lender, JPMorgan Chase.
2 days ago
Five former Memphis police officers who were fired for their actions during the arrest of Tyre Nich...
Travis Caldwell and Jay Croft, CNN

‘You’re going to see acts that defy humanity,’ police chief says of Tyre Nichols video

Police also have not been able to find anything that's substantiated the probable cause for reckless driving by Nichols before his fatal encounter with police, she said.
2 days ago
Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
A sea lion named Mandalorian had to be euthanized after suffering pellet gun wounds