Hoppie, 2 other sea lions back at sea

Associated PressMay 8, 2014 

Three sea lions -- including one nicknamed Hoppie, who was rescued from an almond orchard west of Modesto -- have been released back into the wild.

The Marine Mammal Centerset the animals free Tuesday afternoon near Chimney Rock at Point Reyes National Seashore.

Hoppie, who spent about five weeks receiving much-need nourishment and recovering from sores at the mammal center, drew media attention last month when workers discovered him hopping through a Mape's Ranch orchard, a mile from the San Joaquin River.

One of the other sea lions released Tuesday had been caught in a fishing net in Monterey County and wounded in the neck.

The other was rescued from Grover Beach in San Luis Obispo County after it was found to be suffering from acid toxicity.

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