BUFFALO, NY (release) - The 12-year-old sea lion named Jester at the Buffalo Zoo has died.
Preliminary reports indicate no clear cause of death. Tissue samples have been sent to a pathology lab for further analysis.
Jester was born in May of 2002 at Sea World in Orlando, FL. He was transferred to the Aquarium of Niagara in 2006, and arrived at the Buffalo Zoo in January of this year.
California sea lions are found in the wild along the western coast of North America, from Vancouver south to Mexico and off the Galapagos Islands. Sea lions are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. They are threatened by overfishing of food sources, fishing nets and slaughter to protect fishing stock. They are also vulnerable to chemicals and oil spills in the water. The maximum lifespan of a California sea lion is reported to be 30 years.