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NC Zoo euthanizes sick sea lion

Posted January 24, 2011

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— A female California sea lion was euthanized Friday evening at the North Carolina Zoo after suffering a variety of medical problems for several years, the zoo announced Monday.

Abby, 21, had been under treatment for chronic eye problems for several years and also suffered from pneumonia and diabetes, according to zoo senior veterinarian Dr. Ryan DeVoe.

A necropsy, or animal autopsy, performed Saturday also revealed a number of pancreatic tumors, DeVoe said.

“These are all problems that are extremely difficult to treat in marine mammals,” DeVoe said. “It was a very difficult decision (to euthanize), but one we felt was in the best interest of the animal.”

The average life span for California sea lions is 18 years. 

Abby lost her 25-year-old male exhibit mate, Joey, in late 2009 to a variety of age-related illnesses. She shared the exhibit with two Harbor seals after his death. 

Abby was transferred to the N.C. Zoo from Sea World of Florida in 1995. 

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  • 2gurlz2boyzMom Jan 24, 2011

    AWW THAT'S SO SAD. BUT 3 YRS MORE THAN THE AVERAGE LIFE SPAN. SHE LIVED A GOOD LIFE.

  • kewlmom Jan 24, 2011

    So sad to hear of her passing. She will be missed. I always enjoyed watching her antics when I went to the zoo. :(

  • Killian Jan 24, 2011

    Aw man, that's rough. I loved watching her flip and play and swim around with the seals. I have some good pics of her!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/killian77/5193244703

  • BigUNCFan Jan 24, 2011

    Sounds like she had a good full life and I am sure was loved by the trainers and the zoo patrons.

  • moppie Jan 24, 2011

    We will certainly miss Abby. She's one of the animals my kids always HAD to go see when we went to the zoo. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who cared for her.

  • Glass Half Full Jan 24, 2011

    Sounds like she lived a very long life for her species. Sorry for the staff that had to put her down.

  • Sarge Jan 24, 2011

    my heart goes out to those who were close to Abby.