Living well beyond the average life span of a California sea lion, 30-year-old Slick died March 10 at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
"It is with heavy hearts that Oceans of Fun, the marine mammal conservation and education facility at the Milwaukee County Zoo, said goodbye to Slick, its beloved California sea lion," a release from the zoo said.
Slick was believed to be the oldest living California sea lion in human care. In the wild, male sea lions live an average of 8 to 10 years.
The release said that Slick sired eight sea lion pups during his tenure at the zoo and was an ambassador for his wild counterparts, touching thousands of hearts and educating patrons about marine mammal conservation.
Wauwatosa Now reporter Rachel Minske told Slick's remarkable story when he turned 30 in 2016.
Minske reported that Shelley Ballmann, president of Oceans of Fun, the zoo's marine mammal science and education center, said that sea lions should live longer than 8 to 10 years in the wild. Ballmann cited factors such as pollution, climate change causing food sources to move, noise pollution and predators as contributing reasons for the shortening of sea lions' life span.
"(Slick) had an affinity for people, often deciding to hang out with his trainers for daily back rubs and affection," the release said. "He could always be counted on to bring smiles and kisses to our days. Throughout his life, he taught many trainers, and impacted all of us positively every day. He will be greatly missed and forever remembered."