Aquarium Is Saddened By Loss Of Bailey The Sea Lion

April 06, 2010

The Oregon Coast Aquarium announced that a young sea lion named Bailey died yesterday in an accidental drowning.

Bailey and another sea lion, Maya, apparently worked loose a filtration drain cover in a temporary pool where the two were being kept during routine quarantine, and the suction from the drain kept Bailey from being able to surface for air. Bailey’s remains were sent to the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine to confirm the cause of death.

“This type of accident has never happened in the 18-year history of the Aquarium,” said Cindy Hanson, Aquarium Public Relations Manager. “Our entire staff is shocked and saddened by the unexpected and tragic death of Bailey. Our husbandry staff members are especially committed to the animals and quickly become connected to them, so this is a particularly difficult time for them.” The tank and filtration system has been used many times for marine animal rehabilitation, including sea lions. It is being reconfigured to avert any future tragedies.

Bailey was one of two sea lions recently acquired by the Aquarium and then named during a spring break contest. The other sea lion, Maya, is healthy and in no danger, Hanson said. The two young female California sea lions both were blind in one eye and deemed unsuitable for release to a natural habitat.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium has rehabilitated many marine mammals in its history and observes all regulations as required by The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and guidelines required for accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

As an AZA accredited institution, the Oregon Coast Aquarium meets standards in providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and a better future for all living things. For more information, log onto