Bjorn the blind sea lion was rescued from the beaches of Los Angeles, Calif., two years ago by Amber Becerra, president and CEO of the region's Marine Mammal Care Center. He was starving, and tests revealed bullet fragments in his skull, which probably caused his blindness. Becerra and her staff slowly nursed the 400-pound gentle giant back to health while searching for a permanent home in the midst of the pandemic, when many zoos and aquariums were closed. Finally, Bjorn arrived at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Wash., over 4th of July weekend this year, where he made his first public debut swimming laps as enthusiastic visitors cheered him on. "It was literally life or death for Bjorn, and he made it once again," Becerra told KNKX. "This guy has survived a gunshot to the head, he's survived a shark bite, he's survived a pandemic. And he finally gets his second chance at life," she said.

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