Saturday, August 08, 2009

So long, Sparky! Camera Critters Saturday and Sunday

Sparky V, the "biggest ham" in a long line of sea lions to entertain families at Como Park Zoo, died Monday. He was 31. Sparky V holds a special place in Como's celebrity-animal roster, having performed from 1981 to 2001. Sparky V retired when vision problems made it too hard for him to see his trainer's signals. Sparky V was the oldest sea lion ever at Como and the second-oldest in the nation. The average lifespan for a sea lion is 15-25 years. RIP Sparky!
(Information from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, August 5, 2009). I took this photo of the painting of Sparky at Como Zoo in 2006.


To see more Camera Critters from around the world on Saturday and Sunday, click here.

16 comments:

  1. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
    I'm so glad yoy liked the magnolias in Sydney Kate...I'm ifinally finding time to respomd. Sally
    Sydney Daily Photo

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  2. Nice painting and interesting story, I din't know sea lions had such a lifespan and our sight problems!

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  3. Oh my I hate to read this. To live in captivity that long and not see his old friends and family must have tore at his heart. We don't know that but I can imagine it. If animals think he must have worked his heart out until the day he passed on, hoping one performance might be good enough. I guess it was. He is surely home again with his friends and family. Wherever that is. God Bless Sparky.

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  4. Awwwwwwwwwwwww R.I.P. Sparky

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  5. That's so sad to hear! Whoever did the painting did a great job though.

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  6. Awww...how sad!

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  7. How sad. I had no idea either of the length of their lifespan - wow.
    This is a lovely painting. Thanks for sharing Sparky's story with us.

    My post is here: Carletta’s Captures.

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  8. RIP Sparky! You gave folks such a wonderful time. The zoo here adopted an elder statesman from Hawaii. Guess the Hawaiians didn't want to deal with his eye problems. He's had cataract surgery and is doing great. He especially likes his new girlfriends!

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  9. It sounds like Sparky was really special.

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  10. Thanks for the memories Spark!
    V

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  11. I had no idea sea lions could perform for twenty years! I wonder how much happier would they be in the wild... Anyway, it's a cool shot, Kate.
    And by the way, happy paintings! :-)

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  12. Thats sad. Nice painting of him.

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  13. Sparky was always the highlight of a trip to Como Zoo. I did not realize that it was SParky V now. Will there be a sparky VI?
    Thanks for bringing back a forgotten memory.

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  14. Great story and tribute to a part of Como history. Nice capture of the painting Kate.

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