ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — St. Paul’s Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is mourning the loss of its oldest sea lion.
Sealia, who was called CC, died this past Saturday at age 31. Zoo officials say her advanced age is several years beyond the typical life expectancy for the aquatic mammal.READ MORE: Next Weather: Slightly Warmer Start To The Work Week
CC, who was born at the zoo, was the first female “Sparky,” starring in the Sparky Show from 2002 until 2015, when she retired. She was also the sixth sea lion to play that role in the show, which debuted at the zoo in 1956. CC even had her own segment in the early 2010s on WCCO-TV’s “High School Sports Rally,” where she attempted to predict the winners of Friday night football games.
Senior Zookeeper Allison Jungheim described CC as “very smart.”
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“She had her own preferences for trainers, fish, sleeping locations, and much more,” Jungheim said. “She had her keepers wrapped around her flipper, who were always willing to cater to her wishes.”
CC’s longevity was said to be due in large part to her husbandry behaviors, which including “toothbrush, voluntary vaccinations, and voluntary blood draws.”
Zoo officials said that CC’s health had been in decline for weeks, and she was humanely euthanized this past weekend while “surrounded by her keepers.”MORE NEWS: Sen. Klobuchar Pushing To Help Modernize Minnesota National Guard's Fleet
The zoo will launch a “reimagined” Sparky Show early next month, focusing on all seven inhabitants of Como Harbor, with each rotating into the starring role.