Squeegee the seal dies at 31, zoo says
Sometimes news from the zoo lifts our spirits, as when we learned of the return last week of Ollie, the wandering bobcat.
But life being what it is, sad news also emanates from the compound on Connecticut Avenue. Such news includes the report of the death Wednesday of Squeegee, the harbor seal.
Squeegee, 31, was living out his golden years on the zoo’s American Trail. His death followed a diagnostic procedure, the zoo said Friday.
The lifetime of a harbor seal runs for about 25 years in the wild, the zoo said, and more than 30 under human care.
The bewhiskered creatures weigh as much as 230 pounds and live on both the East and West coasts of this country. They swim in San Francisco Bay.
Squeegee himself was a New Jersey seal. He spent years in an aquarium in Camden before coming here about four years ago.
Why he was dubbed Squeegee was unclear, but it is not impossible that it was linked to one of the components of his diet: squid.
After blood recently appeared in his urine, the zoo had watched him closely for several weeks.
On Wednesday, he went under anesthesia, permitting veterinarians to find several kidney stones, the zoo said. Analysis of his blood showed that his kidneys had been compromised. During recovery, the zoo said, he stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest.
Attempts at resuscitation were unavailing, and the zoo lost an animal it described as “a terrific ambassador for his species.”