The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Shedd Aquarium Sea Lion Otis Dies

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 2, 2012 11:40PM

Photo Credit: Brenna Hernandez/Shedd Aquarium

Sad news from the Shedd Aquarium, where Otis—a 13-year-old California sea lion—was euthanized. Otis was best known for his loud barks, which filled the Abbott Oceanarium

The decision to put Otis down was made after a rapid decline in his health from a progressive advancement of urogenital cancer. Shedd veterinarians performed a necropsy on Otis, which showed signs consistent with the disease.

Otis was one of two sea lions who came to the Shedd in 2009 as part of a government effort to relocate sea lions from Washington state's Bonneville Dam area, where fish stocks on the Columbia River were being jeopardized.

Years of field study by researchers and animal experts have indicated a large number of sea lions in the wild have died of cancer, possibly related to contaminants released into the ocean. Tissue samples from Otis's necropsy will be saved to be used in future studies.

The Shedd has two other sea lions, Biff and Tyler, that are in good health.