Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



National Zoo Mourns Death of Sea Lion

We are sad to announce that our beloved sea lion Sophie, age 2, was found dead at the bottom of her pool this morning, Friday, May 9. Keepers reported that her behavior was normal when they checked on her last evening. Daughter of Calli, Sophie was born while the sea lions were living at Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium while their new homes on American Trail were being built.

We don’t yet know what caused her death, but a necropsy will be performed today and results will be available in the coming weeks.

Along with her mother, Sophie lived on American Trail with female sea lions Sidney and Summer. Native to the West Coast of North America, California sea lions range from Washington state to the Baja Peninsula. Though they were once hunted for their skin, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature now classifies them as a species of least concern.