AP NEWS

Northern elephant seal dies at Pittsburgh zoo and aquarium

December 18, 2019 GMT

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Officials at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium were mourning the death of a northern elephant seal that was rescued in California.

Coolio, 7, died Tuesday during a veterinary procedure, the zoo said. A necropsy found “the seal suffered from congenital abnormalities, including blood vessel abnormalities, likely resulting in severe hypertension.”

Coolio was considered a member of the family at the zoo and aquarium. “Coolio was an amazing animal who touched not only our lives but our visitors as well. He will be missed dearly,” said Barbara Baker, president and CEO.

Coolio was 3 months old when he was found near death along the California coast, the zoo said. The Northcoast Marine Mammal Center nursed him back to health, but he suffered damage to his eyes that left him blind and could not be released back into the wild.

Coolio adapted well to his home in Pittsburgh and got along with a second northern elephant seal, Ellie Mae, officials said.