Death is not a kind visitor. Whether you realize it’s coming or not, It’s always depressing going through it.
The grieving process is difficult and takes plenty of time depending on the person, but at least that life can be appreciated after looking back at so many years.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium announced the loss of one of its members.
A beloved sea lion named Quill had its fateful meeting with the reaper recently. She passed away due to a steep decline in her health after reaching the wise old age of 30 years. Many came to grieve the passing of one of the best sea lions the Aquarium’s come to love.
Max, her half-sibling, passed away as well this past September. The tandem was only 2 years of age when they arrived from the Chicago Brookfield Zoo. They were both some of the first original sea lions of the Aquarium since it opened in 1992. Since then, Quill has been capturing the hearts of every visitor who has had the pleasure of the encounter.
“Quill has given inspiration about our ocean to millions of our visitors,” said director of animal husbandry at Oregon Coast Aquarium, Jim Burke. “It is always hard saying goodbye to an animal that has been such a big part of our lives, and she will be remembered fondly by all of us and those she has met along the way.”
Quill was the talk of the town and had the personality to boot!
You can tell Quill was loved by many by the descriptions they give her. People would describe her as energetic and full of life as well as having a playful attitude. Quill would always create huge splashes with her backflips as well as pester the trainers whenever she knew she deserved a treat.
She was also special because she would meet guests during pinniped encounters, which apparently are not offered by the Aquarium at the current time. Quill definitely had something magical about her presence.
Sea lions in the wild tend to live well into their 20’s, according to the aquarium. Those that are under human care, like Quill and Max, can live up to their early 30’s.
Quill started showing signs of cataracts and arthritis as she started to age well into her twenties. When she was 27, the person taking care of her noticed signs of discomfort and pain as the poor sea lion started to become more immobile.
With her mobility issues, it was evident that the staff needed to take matters into their own hands.
They began giving Quill chiropractor attention and acupuncture sessions to ease her pain. It wasn’t much, but at least the sea lion was getting much-needed care after years of combating her physical deterioration.
“Quill is a testament to how important it is for memologists to build a strong relationship with the animals under their care.” Said Brittany Blades, curator of marine mammals. “Quill would not have been able to have as high quality of life as she had without her trust in her caretakers. She was able to be surrounded by her people as she passed.”
And that’s all you can really wish for the brave sea lion.
Her life meant something to others and had inspired many to take notice and interest in sea creatures like her. She will be cherished and remembered for as long as the aquarium walls stand tall.
In the end, Quill never gave up.
She always fought hard day after day and never once stopped being goofily adorable. Knowing she was loved until the very end was comforting enough to ease her passing.
After the grieving comes appreciation. Appreciation for the time we’ve been given with this amazing sea creature and the moments that will be looked back upon with only a smile.
To see the moving farewell the Oregon Coast Aquarium put together for Quill, watch the video below.
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