YUBA CITY (California) - A SACRAMENTO man convicted of shooting a sea lion in the head will spend 30 days in jail and five years on probation.

Larry Legans was also ordered on Friday to pay US$51,081 (S$66,195) in restitution for the cost of treating the sea lion. Authorities say Legans shot the animal while fishing on the Sacramento River in 2009 because it was taking his fish.

The nearly 300kg sea lion, now known as Sgt Nevis, underwent plastic surgery at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom last week to close holes in his muzzle caused by the shotgun blast.

The sea lion was named after the animal control officer who captured it.
Legans pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour charge of maiming or wounding an animal. Prosecutors say he is barred from all hunting or fishing while on probation.

Sea lion shooting: Man jailed