DES MOINES, Iowa — A beloved crowd favorite, Addy the sea lion, has passed away, the Blank Park Zoo announced on Thursday.
Addy was approximately 10-years-old and had lived at the zoo since 2014.
Keepers described Addy as ‘iconic’ and ‘eager to learn’.
Addy was a wild-born pup and participated in a wild sea lion population study by the National Marine Fisheries Services in her early life. Visitors most likely noticed letters and numbers on Addy’s side, this was placed on her during the population study in order to be identified by the researchers.
In June 2013, she was found on a beach in Los Angeles County, California, malnourished and in poor health. Addy was diagnosed with severe vision problems and was unable to be released back into the wild. Blank Park Zoo offered her a forever home in 2014.
The Blank Park Zoo said visitors will remember Addy for jumping out of the water, waving at guests, and teaching people about sustainable seafood choices.
“Addy will be missed,” said Anne Shimerdla, Blank Park Zoo president and CEO. “Her history as a rescue animal made her a great ambassador for aquatic wildlife, reminding us to make sustainable seafood choices and reduce the use of plastics with are a major cause of problems for aquatic animals.”