St. Louis Zoo sea lion dies

St. Louis, MO – A popular sea lion who starred for nearly two decades in the St. Louis Zoo's Sea Lion Show has died.

Alex, an 18-year-old sea lion, died today while undergoing anesthesia. He had been inactive on Thursday, with little appetite, the zoo said. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

Alex was part of the zoo's Sea Lion Show for 17 years, and handlers said he was adept at every behavior he was trained to do. Zoo officials described him as among the most popular animals.

The Sea Lion Show was closed today, but will start up again on Saturday.