A Peru sea lion nicknamed “Ringo” that was found badly injured has been returned to the wild after six weeks of treatment.
Ringo, a male sea lion, believed to be about a year and a half old, was discovered on a beach near Lima, the capital of Peru, according to a report in The Christian Science Monitor. The young sea lion was found by members of Peru’s Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals, who suspect that fishermen may have intentionally harmed the animal. When he was found, Ringo had injuries on his head and to his left eye. The conservationist group named him and cared for him until they believed he was ready to be released back into the wild.
According to a CBS News report, the members of the Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals (ORCA) received help from Peru’s coast guard to take Ringo to an island off the coast of Peru with a healthy sea lion population. By all accounts, Ringo jumped right into the Pacific to join the other sea lions. Notably, CBS and numerous other news reports incorrectly labelled the Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals as the Organization for the Research and Conversation of Aquatic Animals. While we’re sure the organization’s members probably did converse with the Peru sea lion and other animals it has rescued, their main efforts revolve around conservation rather than conversation.
While this story has a happy ending – at least as far as we can tell – there are many cases of animal abuse that don’t end as well. ORCA regularly works with sea lions – an endangered species that often finds itself at odds with fishermen, who see it as a rival for the coast’s fishing resources.
Check out this video of three other Peru sea lions rescued by ORCA last year:
[Video via YouTube/NTDTV]
While it is generally difficult -and sometimes impossible – to tell whether a particular injured animal was injured by fishermen, or people in general, organizations like ORCA see plenty of evidence to suggest that humans are the main culprits, suggesting that Peruvian fishermen have been known to beat the animals when they catch them.
Fortunately for these sea lions – and especially for Ringo – organizations like ORCA exist to study the animals and to advocate for Peru to enact and enforce laws to help protect the sea lion.