Beloved Long Beach Aquarium Sea Lion Harpo Dies At 17

LONG BEACH, CA — Harpo the sea lion, featured on many of the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific’s social media posts and a fixture of the aquarium, died last week at 17 years old.

According to aquarium officials, Harpo began exhibiting signs of reduced appetite, lethargy and mobility issues in May. The sea lion received specialized care during his sickness until he died on June 29.

“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.

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Harpo was just a year old when he arrived at the Aquarium from another institution in 2007. Staff at the Aquarium of the Pacific watched the energetic sea lion grow and make friends with visitors from around the globe during the 16 years he lived there.

Veterinarians tried many treatments to help Harpo regain his health including medicine, fluids, one-on-one sessions to offer him restaurant-quality seafood, ultrasounds and a whole-body CT scan.

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“Despite extensive tests to try to figure out what was causing Harpo’s symptoms, test results had been within normal ranges and had not revealed further information about the cause of his symptoms,” Aquarium officials said.

In the coming days, Aquarium veterinarians and outside specialists will try to determine Harpo’s cause of death by conducting a necropsy exam, officials said.

Anyone who wishes to make a donation to the Aquarium in tribute to Harpo can visit the website at this link.

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