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The Aquarium staff members mourned the loss of Harpo the California sea lion.

black and white image of harpo the sea lion 2006-2023

Credit: Robin Riggs

June 30, 2023

Harpo passed away on the evening of Thursday, June 29, 2023, at seventeen years old. Harpo the sea lion had been exhibiting signs of reduced appetite, lethargy, and mobility issues. He had been receiving specialized care since his symptoms first started in May of this year. This included medicine, fluids, one-on-one sessions to offer him restaurant-quality seafood, and ongoing veterinary exams, including radiographs, ultrasounds, and a whole body CT scan. Despite extensive tests to try to figure out what was causing Harpo symptoms, test results had been within normal ranges and had not revealed further information about the cause of his symptoms.

Harpo arrived at the Aquarium in 2007. He was born at another Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited institution. Aquarium staff had raised him since he was a one-year-old and watched him grow over the years.

“Harpo was loved for what our team calls his sweet and goofy personality that put people and even other animals at ease. Harpo would make people smile as he would interact with staff or with guests. Due to his gentle nature, he was often the first one new sea lions and seals would meet when they would join the habitat, including a baby seal who was born here. We will miss him so much,” said Brett Long, senior director of mammals and birds, Aquarium of the Pacific.

Those who would like to make a donation in tribute to Harpo can do so by visiting this link.

California sea lions are marine mammals found off the eastern North Pacific from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, south to Baja California, Mexico. Female California sea lions have a lifespan of 18-25 years. That of males is slightly less.