Mediterraneo Marine Park announces the death of Dana the sea lion

Mediterraneo says the sea lion developed a lump in its stomach, having lived at the park for over 26 years

Dana the sea lion
Dana the sea lion

Mediterraneo Marine Park has announced that one its sea lions, Dana, passed away on Tuesday.

Dana was a geriatric sea lion who lived at the park for over 26 years.

“She was born under human care and became a cherished member of the Mediterraneo Marine Park family,” it said in a statement.

The marine park said Dana developed a lump in her belly, which is sadly not uncommon in elderly Patagonian Sea Lions (Otaria flavescens), whose life expectancy is typically 22-24 years.

“The park's vet and carers immediately began administering round-the-clock care for Dana and sent a sample of the mass to the University of Camerino in Italy for testing. The results confirmed the presence of a highly aggressive sarcomatous neoplasia, which was unlikely to respond to surgery or chemotherapy,” the statement read. “Just three days after the official diagnosis was received, Dana succumbed to the illness.”

The park said the Veterinary and Phytosanitary Regulation Division (VRD) was kept constantly updated by the park’s vet.

“During her final days, we collaborated with international experts in marine mammal care and medicine to ensure her comfort and provide the best medical and pain-alleviating care possible,” the park said.

Mediterraneo Marine Park was recently embroiled in controversy, after three dolphins died at the park in 2021 within the span of a month.

NGOs had called for its closure, saying the dolphins’ death uncovered the “cruelty and the negligence” that the animals endure.

No action was taken by the authorities against the park.