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Sea Lion "Bennie" Dies At Saint Louis Zoo

Roger Brandt/Saint Louis Zoo

A sea lion has died at the St. Louis Zoo.

“Bennie,” as he was known, was born at the zoo in 2002 and would have been 12 years old in June.

The 500 pound sea lion was one of the stars of the zoo’s sea lion show. But he stopped performing two weeks ago and had been under veterinary care.

The zoo says a necropsy will be performed by its pathologist, but it will take several weeks for the zoo to get the lab results needed to determine the cause of death.

Another sea lion died of heart failure after performing in a show at the St. Louis Zoo in 2011.

Three seals died in 2012, in transit from Canada to join the zoo's sea lions in the new Sea Lion Sound.

Follow Véronique LaCapra on Twitter: @KWMUScience