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Bubba The Sea Lion Dies A Week After Spear Attack

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In addition to already seeing hundreds of stranded and starving sea lions this year, there have been an increasing number of reports of human-inflicted cruelty on the animals. While many of those poisoned in Laguna Beach are on the road to recovery, there's another sea lion who sadly did not survive a different, vicious attack.

Bubba, the giant sea lion who was impaled by a homemade spear last week, was just pronounced dead at Sea World in San Diego, according to NBC. Despite receiving round-the-clock care after a harpoon-like blade was embedded in his side, the more than 600 pound fella just couldn't survive. Bubba, as he came to be known, was rescued on May 26 after being spotted near the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard.

Following a lengthy search and chase effort by volunteers and professionals from Sea World, Bubba was eventually rescued and brought in for treatment. A sharp, hooked blade crudely taped to a metal pole was found deeply lodged in Bubba's side, and had to be cut out with a scalpel. Rescuers believe the animal was intentionally stabbed.

After the rescue, the giant sea lion was brought to Sea World where he underwent treatment for the wound. But while under sedation for examination and blood sampling by veterinarians, Bubba died. According to a statement from Sea World, "During the exam, he arrested and despite strenuous efforts to resuscitate him, he could not be revived."

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Harming a sea lion is considered a federal offense under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has launched an investigation to try and find whoever is responsible for stabbing Bubba.