Seattle Aquarium mourns loss of fur seal 'Al'

Seattle Aquarium mourns loss of fur seal 'Al'

Seattle Aquarium mourns loss of fur seal 'Al'

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by KING 5 News and Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 13 at 12:33 PM

SEATTLE - A northern fur seal named Al who had entertained millions of Seattle Aquarium visitors and provided rich research to scientists has died. He was 19.

The Seattle Aquarium says the seal's health had been declining in recent weeks. He was euthanized Tuesday.

“Losing an old friend is always difficult, but Al had a wonderful history that we will always remember,” said Traci Belting, marine mammal curator at the Aquarium.

Named after Vice President Al Gore, the seal landed at the aquarium after he veered from the ocean and was found in a cow pasture in Hoquiam. And federal biologists determined he wasn't fit to be returned to the wild because of his small size and lack of survival skills.

Aquarium officials say his remains will be sent for study to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle and to a researcher in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

He is survived by an 11-year-old pup, Isaac, who is on loan at Boston's New England Aquarium.
 

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