A beloved Blank Park Zoo sea lion who loved waving at fans and jumping in the water has died, the zoo announced Aug. 11.
“Addy will be missed,” zoo president and CEO Anne Shimerdla said in a statement. “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, which are a major cause of problems for aquatic animals.”
Addy was born in the wild and participated in a wild sea lion population study early in her life, conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Services, which put a marking on her side to identify her from a distance.
In June 2013, Addy was found beached in Los Angeles County, California, with malnourishment and, due to severe vision problems, was unable to return to natural areas.
The Blank Park Zoo gave her a home in 2014 and she later had successful cataract removal surgery with help from sea lion vision specialists.
The zoo said staff called her “iconic” and visitors will always remember Addy for jumping out of water, signature waves at visitors, and educating zoogoers about sustainable seafood options.
“At her training demonstrations she loved the crowds and fed off their energy,” zoo carnivore and pinniped supervisor Travis Wickersham said.
The zoo shared that since Addy was born in the wild, there were no birth records left behind but estimated that she was 10.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Beloved Blank Park Zoo sea lion Addy dies