Como's longtime Sparky the sea lion diesby Melanie Sommer, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Sparky V, the oldest sea lion at the Como Zoo in St. Paul and the second oldest sea lion in North America, died on Monday at the age of 31. The average life expectancy of a sea lion is 15-25 years.
The California sea lion was the star of the "Sparky Show" at the Como Zoo from 1981 up until his retirement in 2001. He was the fifth animal to play the role of Sparky. He was succeeded by the current "Sparky," which is a sea lion named Sealia (CC).
The Como Zoo began the Sparky show in 1956, and it has been one of the zoo's most popular attractions since then.