3-month-old seal pup born at Blank Park Zoo dies

Lucy, a harbor seal born at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines in late August 2019, is shown soon after her birth (Courtesy: Blank Park Zoo)
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials at a Des Moines zoo say a 3-month-old seal pup born there recently died.

Blank Park Zoo officials say the pup, born Aug. 20 and named “Lucy,” died on Nove. 24. A news release issued by the zoo said a necropsy showed Lucy died after suffering from “failure to thrive.”

That means she wasn’t processing enough calories to survive, zoo spokesman Ryan Bickel said.

Lucy was not eating on her own in the last weeks of her life and required fluids and supplements from keepers, the release said.

“Lucy was a very personable pup that loved to interact with children and keepers at the underwater viewing window,” said Travis Wickersham, supervisor of the zoo’s carnivores and primates.

Bickel said keepers tried to dangle fish in front of Lucy entice her, but she still wouldn’t eat.

The zoo now has three harbor seals: Lucy’s parents, Meru and Ross, and her older brother, Monty, who was born last year.