A sea lion that died at Napier's Marineland was in the advanced stages of cancer.
The male sea lion, named Makea, died on January 11 while being examined by a team of vets.
Marineland's veterinary consult Dr Michael Lintott said the ultrasound performed during the examination and an autopsy revealed that Makea was in the end stage of cancer, with masses in his lymph nodes and internal organs.
"Due to his ill health Makea was unable to recover from the anaesthetic,'' Dr Lintott.
The 23-year-old sea lion was considered very old for his species.
Makea's death was the second at the closed facility in as many months.
Rufus, a californian sea lion, died on his way to see a vet in Palmerston North.
He was unwell before his death, and was just short of his 8th birthday.
Last year the High Court upheld the council's decision to close the attraction, which shut in April 2009.
The council and the Department of Conservation are still deciding what to do with the remaining animals.
The remaining Marineland animals are:
Two California sea lions: Orion, 15; and Dakota, 8.
Six New Zealand fur seals: Bart, 16; Molly, 12; Mr Bo Jangles, 9; Pania, 7; Ollie, 6; and Iha, 4.
One Sub Antarctic fur seal: Mako, 6.
- The Dominion Post
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