Second oldest sea lion dies

August 5, 2009 4:48:41 AM PDT
Zoo officials in St. Paul are mourning the death of Sparky V, a California sea lion believed to be the second oldest in North America at the age of 31.

Sparky V stopped performing at the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in 2001, but trainers there continued to work with him daily until he died Monday.

The zoo says the average life expectancy of a sea lion in 15 to 25 years. Trainers credit Sparky V's longevity to a special diet and prompt medical care.

As a performer, Sparky V played a lifeguard, trumpet player, baseball player and lounge singer.