Veterinarians at the Marine Mammal Center in Vallejo and a plastic surgeon who usually works on people are set to perform the first ever reconstructive surgery on a sea lion that was found shot several times in the face. The sea lion was discovered last fall in the Sacramento River, captured, and taken first to the Center in Sausalito where its wounds were flushed and it was fed and given antibiotics. The now 650-pound animal had gone down to 350 pounds but was still trying to tough it out in the wild. They named him Sgt. Nevis, after the Yolo County police officer who helped with the rescue.

The reconstructive surgery is scheduled for today, and will last several hours. Afterwards, Sgt. Nevis will return to Sea Lion Cove at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, where he's been living since May. A fisherman from North Highlands plead not guilty to animal cruelty in connection with the crime last fall.

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