Beloved Senior Sea Lion Dies at OKC Zoo - 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 8, 2010
CONTACTS: Tara Henson, (405) 425-0219, cell (405) 919-9038 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Candice Rennels, (405) 425-0298, cell (405) 412-6172 or email@example.com
BELOVED SENIOR SEA LION DIES AT OKC ZOO
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden sadly announces the death of Midge, a 25-year-old California sea lion on Friday, November 5. Known for her starring role in the Zoo's sea lion shows and her painting talents, Midge has long been a zoo favorite with staff and guests and was one of the first sea lions to become a resident at the Noble Aquatic Center: Aquaticus when it debuted in 1986. Under medical treatment for the past few weeks for lethargy and loss of appetite, staff monitored her condition and worked to keep her comfortable. Veterinary staff performed a range of tests including blood work, radiographs and ultrasounds to try and diagnose her problem. All were inconclusive but cancer was strongly suspected. The difficult decision to euthanize Midge was made by a team of trainers, curators and veterinary staff. She was surrounded by her trainers during the procedure. Preliminary findings indicate possible lung cancer. A necropsy, an animal autopsy was performed to determine the cause of death. Final results of the necropsy may not be known for several weeks. Born in 1985, Midge arrived in Oklahoma City, April 1, 1986 from the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center where she had been rescued from the Ventura Marina with severe nutritional and respiratory problems.
"Midge has been a wonderful ambassador for the Zoo by educating and entertaining hundreds of thousands of people about sea lions, conservation and the environment," said Dwight Scott, Zoo Executive Director. "She will be missed by many."
If you would like to share your memories and thoughts about Midge, please go to the Zoo’s Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/okczoobg. Photos of Midge can be found at the Zoo’s website by clicking here and on the fan page. Your photos and memories are welcome.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos of Midge are available upon request. Interviews with Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino, Director of Zoo Veterinary Services may be arranged beginning at 1:30 p.m. today by contacting Zoo Public Relations at the contact information above.