SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A sea lion is recovering Wednesday after surgery for a bullet wound.

The sea lion was picked up late Saturday night by a SeaWorld rescue team. She had a big wound, but it wasn't bleeding, so rescuers worked to stabilize her and get her hydrated.

Wednesday morning, they performed a full exam and discovered the animal had been shot.

"She's a very lucky sea lion because it really looks like somebody tried to aim for the heart and actually got her in the armpit and the bullet just deflected up the arm and into the shoulder blade," Dr. Hendrik Nollens said.

The bullet was removed, and so far the sea lion is doing well.

The shooting of this sea lion is not only cruel, but is also a federal crime as a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.