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    Aquarium Says Heat Exhaustion May Have Had Role In Deaths Of Two Of Its Sea Lions

    (July 3, 2006) -- The Aquarium of the Pacific today (July 3) posted an announcement on its website, indicating that heat exhaustion may have played a role in the deaths of two of its sea lions (Kona and her pup). We post the text verbatim below.

    As previously reported by, the Aquarium says a third sea lion, Roxy, died within 24 hours of the other two deaths in an unrelated event stemming from what it calls an adverse reaction to anesthesia during a medical procedure (to correct a prolapsed uterus).

    The Aquarium's July 3 test regarding the deaths of Kona and her pup follows:

    [begin text]

    July 3, 2006 -- Long Beach, CA

    After conducting post mortem exams and investigating the cause of death of the Aquarium’s sea lion Kona and her pup, physical evidence indicates that heat exhaustion may have played a role. Kona and her pup had been in their behind-the-scenes nursery since June 12, where they had been bonding and doing well.

    In order to keep the animals cool, the area was constructed with a shade structure and both mother and pup were given regular water baths. As a new mother and a newborn, the two sea lions were monitored hourly each day. On Saturday, July 1 at approximately 1:10 p.m. the two animals were checked on and given a water bath. Both were active, appeared to be healthy, and showed no signs of heat exhaustion.

    Less than an hour later, they were both found dead. There appeared to be no significant difference in temperature that day to the days prior, so it is being investigated to determine whether something occurred during that window of time that caused the two animals to become overactive resulting in the heat exhaustion.

    The Aquarium wishes to express its gratitude to its members and the community for their outpouring of support during this difficult time.

    Related coverage:

  • Text of Aquarium Release On Death Of Three Of Its Sea Lions

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