Zoo News

Oct 20, 2020

Dallas the California Sea Lion Passes Away

We are heartbroken to share that Dallas, the California sea lion, unexpectedly passed away on Sunday night. Our veterinary and animal care teams had been closely monitoring and treating Dallas for a respiratory issue, and he seemed to be improving. Our female sea lions Jesse, Pokey, and Toni, are in good health and are doing fine.

Our veterinary team performed a necropsy (the animal version of an autopsy), and the results were inconclusive on the cause of death. We will be sending out tissue and other samples to specialized laboratories to learn more about the untimely passing of Dallas.

Dallas was 21 years old and came to the Buffalo Zoo in 2005 as part of the debut of the Sea Lion Cove exhibit. Dallas was a big guy weighing in at 765 pounds. He was dad to Toni, born in June 2019. In the wild, California sea lions live 15 to 20 years. In managed care, like the Buffalo Zoo, the trends are longer at 20-30 years due to the exceptional care they receive.

No one more than our teams at the Buffalo Zoo knows how devastating this loss is especially after losing Sampson the giraffe just a short time ago. Please know these two sad incidents are in no way related.

We are committed to connecting our Buffalo Zoo community to wildlife and wild places, and one way we do so is by bringing you many different scenes from the Zoo — our shared wins and losses, births and deaths, and highs and lows. In that spirit of community, we ask that as you offer your condolences that you keep the discussion civil and thoughtful out of respect and sensitivity for our teams whose hearts are hurting today.

Subscribe to ZOONEWS

The Buffalo Zoo E-Mail Newsletter

Get all the latest from the Buffalo Zoo in your inbox. Enter your email address and get the latest from the Zoo from animal news, events, exhibits and all the inside info from the Wildest Place in Town!