Como's longtime Sparky the sea lion dies

Sparky V
Sparky V, a California sea lion who was the star of the Sparky Show at St. Paul's Como Zoo for 20 years, died Monday. He retired from the show in 2001, and another sea lion now performs.
Photo courtesy of the Como Zoo

Sparky V, the oldest sea lion at the Como Zoo in St. Paul and the second oldest sea lion in North America, died on Monday at the age of 31. The average life expectancy of a sea lion is 15-25 years.

The California sea lion was the star of the "Sparky Show" at the Como Zoo from 1981 up until his retirement in 2001. He was the fifth animal to play the role of Sparky. He was succeeded by the current "Sparky," which is a sea lion named Sealia (CC).

The Como Zoo began the Sparky show in 1956, and it has been one of the zoo's most popular attractions since then.

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