Oregon Coast Aquarium Sea Lion Dies in Freak Drowning
(Newport, Oregon) – A freak accidental drowning took the life of a recent addition to Newpor'’s Oregon Coast Aquarium – a female sea lion named Bailey.
Bailey was one of two sea lions playing in their habitat, when the pair somehow loosened a filtration drain cover, the aquarium said. Bailey got caught in the resulting suction from the drain, which kept her from being able to surface and get to air.
The two were kept in the pool as part of a routine quarantine.
Bailey’s body was sent to the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine to confirm the cause of death.
The tank and filtration system have been used numerous times for marine animal rehabilitation, including sea lions. The aquarium said it will be reconfigured to avert any future tragedies.
“This type of accident has never happened in the 18-year history of the Aquarium,” said Cindy Hanson, Aquarium Public Relations Manager. “Our entire staff is shocked and saddened by the unexpected and tragic death of Bailey. Our husbandry staff members are especially committed to the animals and quickly become connected to them, so this is a particularly difficult time for them.”
Bailey and Maya were recently sent to the aquarium to live because of various injuries that made it impossible to survive on their own in the wild. Both were blind in one eye. They then became part of a spring break contest where the public could pick their names.
Maya remains healthy and in no danger, Hanson said.
Hanson said the Oregon Coast Aquarium has rehabilitated many marine mammals in its history and observes all regulations as required by The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and guidelines required for accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Hanson said that as an AZA accredited institution, the Oregon Coast Aquarium meets standards in providing excellent care for animals. She added the facility strives to create a fun experience for visitors and a better future for all living things. More information on these standards is at www.aza.org.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is on Ferry Slip Road, in South Beach, across the bay from Newport, Oregon. See www.aquarium.org or call (541) 867-FISH.
More Upcoming Events at Oregon Coast Aquarium and Newport
April 17. Sea Lion Encounter. Learn about the Aquarium’s pinnipeds, get a sea lion kiss and explore behind the scenes at the aquarium. Make reservations in advance by calling 541-867-3474 Ext. 2313. 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Ages 8 and up. . $35 members, $40 non-members (limit 10 people per encounter). Oregon Coast Aquarium. South Beach (across the bay from Newport, Oregon). www.aquarium.org.
April 22. Earth Day Sea Lion Encounter. Learn about the Aquarium’s pinnipeds, get a sea lion kiss and explore behind the scenes at the aquarium. Make reservations in advance by calling 541-867-3474 Ext. 2313. 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Ages 8 and up. $35 members, $40 non-members (limit 10 people per encounter). Oregon Coast Aquarium. South Beach (across the bay from Newport, Oregon). www.aquarium.org.
April 24. Cub Scout Combination Sleepover. Scouts are invited to spend the night in Passages of the Deep tunnels. Pizza, go on a scavenger hunt, participate in fun, hands-on activities designed to meet some specific badge requirements. Wake up with cereal, juice, coffee, tea and fruit to energize for a behind-the-scenes look at how the birds, seals and seal lions are fed. Register at least two weeks in advance by calling (541) 867-3474 ext. 5301. 6 p.m. – 9 a.m. Ages 6 and up. $50 members, $55 non-members. Oregon Coast Aquarium. South Beach (across the bay from Newport, Oregon). www.aquarium.org.
April 26 – May 2. Traveling Vietnam Wall and Traveling 1000 Flag Memorial. Special presentations, medal presentations, flag walks and more. Various parts of Newport, Oregon. 541-444-2828.
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