From the Toronto Star:
One spring day in 1963, John Holer, the owner of Marineland, found himself on a Lake Ontario beach in a struggle with a 100-pound sea lion.
Jeff, a sea lion that had escaped from Holer’s animal park in Niagara Falls three days earlier, sunk its teeth into Holer’s bicep as it fought for its freedom.
But Holer and a friend eventually overpowered it, threw it in the back seat of a car and returned to what was then a humble, one-acre marine park.
This adventure — Jeff’s escape under the fence, his disappearance over Niagara Falls (presumably to his death), then his resurrection in the following days, frolicking, fishing and generally revelling in his freedom before a 12-year-old boy spotted him basking on a beach in Niagara-on-the-Lake — transformed the two-year-old sea lion into Holer’s first star attraction.