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Rescued Sea Lion Travels Over 3,000 Miles To Recuperate At East End Aquarium

Elsie Boskamp

Nila, a 9-month-old California Sea Lion, who now calls the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center home. (Photo: Glenn Letterman)

Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center is shining the spotlight on their newest aquatic animal, Nila. The 9-month-old California Sea Lion was brought to the Riverhead Aquarium and Exhibition Center from Point Mugu, California and will make her debut later this year.

At the time of rescue, Nila was described as being malnourished, dehydrated and emaciated and was immediately given medical attention by her rescuers at Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute. Now, weighing only 18 pounds, Nila's veterinarian and other experts declared her unable to survive in the wild, thus, Candy Paparo, the aquarium's director of animal training, agreed that the LI Aquarium would be Nila's new nest.

Using the FedEx Animal Transport Program, the Sea Lion traveled nearly 3,000 miles to her new home on the East End. As she gets comfortable with her new environment, the pup will remain out of the public eye, where she will be introduced to Java and Bunker, the aquarium's Sea Lions that we all already know and love.

Eventually Nila will be unveiled in the Sea Lion Coliseum alongside her new family.

Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center is located at 431 East Main Street in Riverhead. For more information, call 631-208-9200 or visit www.longislandaquarium.com.

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