The Tulsa Zoo is mourning the loss of 23-year-old sea lion Dorsey. The male sea lion had been diagnosed with cancer and was humanely euthanized on April 19.
The zoo’s animal care and health teams had been monitoring changes in Dorsey’s mobility since late 2015. Through blood work analysis, biopsies and radiographs, the animal health team confirmed the existence of bone cancer throughout the large bone of the upper flipper. The health and care teams continued daily monitoring, ultimately determining Dorsey’s quality of life had become significantly compromised. Dorsey passed away in his exhibit holding area surrounded by his caregivers.
“The zoo is very proud of our animal care and health teams for the way they have looked after Dorsey and for their continued dedication to the well-being of our sea lions, as well as to all of the animals in our care,” says Vice President of Animal Conservation & Science Joe Barkowski. “We know a great number of our zoo staff and friends have been able to connect with Dorsey over the years, and will want to take this time in remembrance.”
Dorsey was born in and lived the majority of his life in the Tulsa Zoo, with a brief excursion to the Oklahoma City Zoo during construction of the Helmerich Sea Lion Cove.