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Rescued Sea Lion Felled by Cancer at Shedd

by Staff
Chicago Tribune, March 2, 2012

A 13-year-old male California sea lion rescued from Washington State was put down this week because of complications from urogenital cancer, officials said tonight.

"Otis" had been sent to the Shedd Aquarium in 2009 as part of a government effort to relocate dozens of sea lions jeopardizing endangered fish stocks in the Columbia River near the Bonneville Dam.

"We are very saddened by this difficult but necessary decision due to the deterioration of Otis' quality of life," said Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of animal care and training, in a news release Friday.

"Through our animal care expertise we were able to provide Otis with a second chance, while also giving the marine mammal community the opportunity to learn vital information that will help us better understand sea lions in the wild," Ramirez said.

Vet Caryn Poll, section chief of medicine at Shedd, said Otis began showing signs of lethargy and lack of appetite a few weeks ago.

"Our team did everything we possibly could to make him as comfortable as possible during these last few days," Poll said.

A full necropsy performed Thursday night yielded preliminary findings consistent with the diagnosis, the release said.

Shedd's remaining two male California sea lions, Biff and Tyler, are in good health.

Rescued Sea Lion Felled by Cancer at Shedd
Chicago Tribune, March 2, 2012

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