A sea lion that was nursed back to health by the Pacific Marine Mammal Center was successfully released back into the ocean Wednesday, the center announced.
Hobie was found in April resting near the Newport Beach pier with a wound on her flipper and weighing only 34 pounds, which is significantly underweight for a sea lion pup, according to a statement from the center.
She was later admitted to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center for treatment and was named after the late Hobie Alter, a local community figure and surfing pioneer.
Susan Alter, Hobie Alter's wife, learned of the animal named after her husband and offered to sponsor the marine mammal’s recovery, the center said.
The Alter Family were present when Hobie was released back into the wild at Crescent Bay beach in Laguna Beach.
“We were so fortunate to have (Hobie Alter) as a part of our community, and couldn't think of a better way to celebrate his life than by giving new life to an ocean animal in need,” said Michele Hunter, animal care director for the center.