BROOKFIELD, Ill. — Two young orphaned sea lions have a new place to call home — the Brookfield Zoo.
Carolyn and Sabiena, who are approximately 2-years-old, are from Southern California and have had pretty rough lives. The female orphans are both deemed unreleasable, but they now have a forever home.
The two animals were tranquilized Tuesday in order to undergo thorough physical exams. After vets take a good look and give clearance, Brookfield expects Carolyn and Sabiena to join the zoo’s eight other sea lions in a few weeks.
Carolyn was found about a year ago near Dana Point. She had rocks in her stomach, and one of her fins was injured by either a boat or another animal.
She was introduced to Sabiena who was rescued months earlier in Malibu. Sabiena was also underweight and had multiple puncture wounds from fish hooks, one took out one of her eyes.
Both were unable to adequately hunt in the wild, leading to severe malnourishment.
FedEx provided the transport to O’Hare Airport from Southern California and the company has been so involved, the orphans were named Carolyn and Sabiena after two FedEx team members.
After their physicals Tuesday, the girls will be allowed to acclimate before joining Brookfield’s other sea lions, which includes six other rescues.
Zoo officials say the transition is easier since the two have had each other along the way.
Carolyn and Sabiena will likely make their public debut late next month.