- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) - A male harbor seal considered geriatric for his species has died at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Luke, 35, was humanely euthanized last week, according to a statement from the zoo released Friday. The zoo said he outlived the median life expectancy for his species, which is 25 years in the wild and 30 years in human care.

Luke had been experiencing ocular discomfort and had trouble orienting himself recently, according to the zoo’s statement. He had also experienced a loss of appetite and an unusual lack of interest in training with keepers and socializing with other animals.

Animal care staff decided to euthanize him after using several methods to treat his symptoms, including antibiotics, weekly ear flushes and various eye drops.

On June 17, 1984, Luke was born at New York Aquarium in Brooklyn, and he came to the nation’s capital in 2011, the statement said. He didn’t father any pups, according to news outlets, but lived at the zoo’s American Trail habitat with another male harbor seal and a gray seal colony.



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