Courtesy Storybook Gardens
Harbor Seals in their habitat at Storybook Gardens.
The Saint Louis Zoo announced that Cri Cri the harbor seal has died at the Indianapolis Zoo. She was in transit to St. Louis from London, Ontario's Storybook Gardens with three other harbor seals when handlers discovered two of those seals, Nunavut and Atlantis, were dead. The truck carrying them detoured to the Indianapolis Zoo for medical care, where Cri Cri has been since last Friday. The fourth seal, Peanut, is in quarantine at the Saint Louis Zoo and appears to be healthy and alert.
The London Free Press
reports that vets were treating Cri Cri for extreme exertional myopathy, a condition that can be brought about by stress. The actual cause of her death may not be known for weeks.
"Cri Cri valiantly fought to live, and the Indianapolis Zoo medical staff worked heroically and continuously to save her, so we thank them for all they did during this trying period," said Dr. Jeffrey Bonner, Dana Brown President and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo, in an official statement.
Dr. Bonner also offered condolences to the staff and patrons of Storybook Gardens. "Again, we offer our deepest sympathy to the staff of Storybook Gardens, who asked us to provide a home for four harbor seals that they could no longer keep, and to the citizens of London, Ontario, who clearly loved these seals."
"We hope to learn the cause of death for these animals -- something that remains unknown at this time. We did everything we possibly could to ensure the safety and comfort of these animals. There is always some risk inherent in any animal transport, but our Zoo completes approximately 200 animal transports annually with no problems, so this has been a very troubling and tragic event for all involved." Sea Lion Sound
, the zoo's new exhibition and the reason the harbor seals were coming to town, is still scheduled to open Saturday, June 30.