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updated 10/4/2011 9:23:22 AM ET 2011-10-04T13:23:22

Veterinarians caring for a sea lion that was rescued after waddling onto a busy Northern California highway over the weekend say the animal suffered a gunshot wound.

California Highway Patrol officers encountered the sea lion around 7 a.m. Saturday after the agency received reports that it crossed Highway 101 in Burlingame. The animal then headed down an exit ramp, which the CHP closed for two hours until rescuers from The Marine Mammal Center arrived.

Veterinarians at the center initially thought the female, 132-pound sea lion may have been disoriented from toxic algae poisoning. Test results are pending on the possible poisoning, but they also determined the animal had been shot in the jaw.

Center officials said Monday they're developing a treatment plan for the sea lion, which has been named Broadway Bound after the highway exit.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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